Public Safety Policing

by James F. Pastor, PhD, JD Associate Professor in Public Safety at Calumet College of St. Joseph and President, SecureLaw Ltd. In these times of seemingly relentless news reports of terrorist acts coupled with the steady stream of terror alerts, those who look underneath the sensationalism caused by terrorism must ask the inevitable question: What is the best way to deal with this violence and its implications? There are many ways and levels to assess this question. Your solution is often dependent on how you see the problem. Some will focus on foreign policy. Others will emphasize intelligence, crisis management, religion, or even economic aide, to name a few. I see the problem from the perspective of the street or at the “target” level. At this level, the threat of terrorism may require a basic change in the nature of policing. As retractable as terrorism seems, we must remind ourselves that this problem also represents an opportunity for effective change. This article asks the reader to make a paradigm shift related to the nature of policing. Those who have studied policing will agree that there is an adage that indicates that the optimal level of security is to have a “police officer on every block.” This “goal” is considered both desirable, and yet unattainable. During heightened threats, we tend to look for police officers and other authority figures to calm our fears and provide a sense of security. Unfortunately, we seem to live in an era in which communicated threats and sensational media coverage of “successful” terrorist acts are commonplace. This is likely to continue—and become much more intense—for many years to come. The cumulative effect of such will have a great impact on how we understand and practice policing. Does Terrorism Require a New Policing Model? We are at the cusp of a silent, yet fundamental, shift that will change the notion of policing. This new policing model, which I term Public Safety Policing, will emphasize tactical methods, technology, and alternative service providers. It will replace the community policing model, which is the current policing strategy of choice. As will be more fully developed below, I believe that the principles inherent in community policing, while appropriate for an earlier era, will be unsustainable in contemporary times. At the heart of this change will be a shift from the desire to change “hearts and minds” to one of “target hardening.” Let me explain this crucial distinction. Community policing emphasized a “client-centered” focus through which the optimal goal was to prevent crime by changing the conditions that foster crime.1 This goal was to Page 1 of 16 SecureLaw Ltd.
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be achieved by working with individuals within the community. In this way, strategic decisions in how the community is to be policed were to emanate from a partnership of police and community leaders. Even the more mundane daily tasks were to be derived from or influenced by community involvement. Underlying this level of policecommunity cooperation is the impression that crime can be prevented by a cooperative effort to remedy the conditions that cause crime. To achieve this goal, one critical affect of this model was to re-orient the police to a more proactive and preventive approach to crime fighting.2 In doing so, however, it has expanded the scope of the police mission by fostering the delivery of more and more services. To be clear, I advocate community involvement in policing. What I see as problematic, however, is the notion that the police can change the root causes of crime—which logically results in seeking to transform “hearts and minds.” To illustrate the difficulties of this task, I ask my students (who are active police officers) this question: What are the causes of crime? The inevitable answers are such things as poverty, lack of education, dysfunctional families, drugs and alcohol, teen pregnancy, gangs, racism, unemployment, opportunity, and the like. Upon listing these causes of crime, I then ask a follow-up question: Can police agencies control each specific cause of crime? We then rank the ability to control crime from 0 to connote “no control” to 5 to connote “complete control.” As you may predict, the answers are almost universally in the 0 or 1 range, except for one specific cause of crime—opportunity. When assessing this “cause of crime”, my police students invariably rank their ability to control as being 4 or even 5. While this exercise is not meant to demonstrate a scientifically sound conclusion, it does provide key insights into the nature of policing. First, an important underlying principle of community policing creates a burden on the police that I believe is unattainable. That is, police cannot positively affect the causes of crime. While police agencies may positively affect the conditions that foster crime through order maintenance techniques, the underlying causes of crime are more problematic. Most would agree that such factors as poverty, educational attainment, family life, teen pregnancy, unemployment, and even racism (excluding racial profiling) are beyond the ability of police agencies to control.3 Even gangs and drugs/alcohol, which are arguably within the scope of police control, are so widespread or endemic that it is inappropriate to expect the police to effectively control the inclinations and incentives of those who participate. Of course, community policing advocates would argue that these causes of crime can be positively affected by police-community partnerships, which utilize a broad framework of social services.4 While this may have been true in the past, I think it is unlikely or even impossible in contemporary times. More important than this brief critique of community policing, the consequences of not being able to control crime are now qualitatively different. For example, from the perspective of most community policing advocates, if the police fail to prevent crime in Page 2 of 16 SecureLaw Ltd.
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the subway, the consequence is likely to be a theft, a robbery, or even a murder. Add terrorism to this equation. Now the consequences are dramatically different—witness Spain, London, and the almost daily events in Iraq. With the threat and the realities of terrorism, the desire to affect the root causes of crime will become distinctly subordinate to the desire to prevent terroristic acts. While some may continue to advocate the “hearts and minds” goal of preventing crime (or even terrorism), I contend that the police should re-orientate their focus toward a “target hardening” approach to crime fighting (and terrorism). This distinction was constructively illustrated in the movie Minority Report.5 The premise of this movie was that future police techniques will include a “pre-crime” squad charged with the goal of stopping crime before the criminal could complete the act. In this way, the pre-crime squad did not care about changing the criminal inclinations of the individual. Instead, the goal was simply to affect the individual’s opportunity to commit the crime. In doing so, these futuristic police officers utilized various technological and tactical methodologies. With terrorism control and prevention as part of the police mission, officers’ functions will be complicated by the inevitable fact that they will be the targets of terroristic acts. One needs to look no further than Iraq to observe that police and civil defense forces have been frequent targets of terrorists. This is not a novel technique. Examples of terrorist attacks against police officers and police facilities are undeniable, both in contemporary and historical times. One consequence of this reality is that police will be forced to protect themselves as they protect the community. This dynamic will result in the police adopting more para-military tactics and weaponry, which will be notable attributes in the coming Public Safety Policing model. With the threat of terrorism, the community policing model, as it is currently advocated, will become unsustainable. The “trigger” for this policing transition can be explained with two basic foundations: (1) fear and (2) money. As any student of terrorism knows, one of its key purposes is to induce fear into the population. Since the terrorist acts of 911, this country has been on an emotional roller coaster, dealing with various public pronouncements and increased threat levels. Understood in the grave reality of 9-11, these ongoing threats cannot be discounted or ignored. The recent London subway and bus bombings remind the public that this threat is real. Indeed, threats create fear, which demands action. This cycle of threats and fear result in the government spending billions of dollars on security-related expenditures. Added to this dynamic is the fact that community policing monies previously provided by the federal government have largely dried up. Most of the federal funding is now centered on “homeland security.” Most of this funding, however, is earmarked for technologies and training and designed to improve the performance of the “first responders”—the police, fire, and medical personnel—who encounter a terrorist act. Page 3 of 16 SecureLaw Ltd.
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These monies typically do not fund police personnel. In this regard, consider this assertion by Judith Lewis, retired captain from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department: The expectations of law enforcement as first responder for homeland security have put an almost unachievable burden on local law enforcement. Local law enforcement is not designed organizationally to support the cooperation needed, and its officers don’t have the training and technology to do the job . . . Currently, traditional law enforcement is being left behind.6 Consequently, both of these factors, fear and money, are complicated by or relate to “911” and “911.” Ironically, these factors, referring to the terrorist incidents and the communication system, have served to stretch police budgets and increase police work load. Future terroristic acts will further stretch police budgets and resources. The computerized call taking system of “911” has resulted in huge increases in work loads in police departments throughout the country. Years of urging citizens to call “911” has created a culture in which people tend to call the police for more and more serviceorientated requests. Calls for such things as barking dogs, street light repairs, noisy neighbors, unruly children, and alarm response have created a difficult “unintended consequence” for police agencies already strapped with resource constraints. These service and order maintenance tasks performed by sworn police officers are both costly and a waste of important human and organizational resources. This system of policing—called 911 policing—was appropriately criticized by Kelling and Coles (1996), who argued that it has created an “enormous demand” for police services. Kelling noted Boston as an example. In 1975, there were 350,000 non-index (service-oriented) calls. By 1991, the number of non-index calls rose to nearly 600,000 service calls.7 Departments across the country have to deal with similar increases in service levels. Attempts have been instituted to resolve the increasing level of service calls. Implementing “311” (non-emergency police response) and call stacking (prioritizing calls for dispatch based on level of seriousness) have had some success.8 These attempts, however, have not resolved the basic dilemma—servicing the community through the resources allocated to the department. Faced with these twin constraints of fear and financial burdens, thoughtful police executives are responding with creative and innovative methods. To illustrate this dilemma, I often ask two basic, yet telling, questions to police administrators related to the relationship between resources and functions: 1. Do you have the resources for all the functions you are asked to perform? Page 4 of 16 SecureLaw Ltd.
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2. Are you asked to perform functions that you prefer not to perform? Predictably the answers are “no” and “yes,” respectively. A paradigm shift in policing is the better answer. Simply stated, we cannot afford to maintain the status quo. In my opinion, agencies must provide more cost-effective policing methods. In this sense, the future focus of the police will be less on service and more on protection. Consequently, I contend that the “serve and protect” mission of the police should be re-orientated to focus on protection. This emphasis on protection contrasts to the views of community policing advocates, who tend to focus on service as a means to deal with the root causes of crime. Almost all police executives believe that budgetary constraints diminish their ability to deliver optimal police services. If the proactive executive cannot resolve this limitation through management and organizational initiatives, then the next logical approach is to assess the types and levels of services provided to the community. Can some services be contracted out? Can some services that are currently performed by sworn police personnel be performed by civilians? Alternatively, can a given police department decide not to perform certain services, or can increased use of technology make the police more efficient? These questions explore many considerations and interests. Indeed, police budgets related to service provisions have political, social, financial, and organizational implications. It is too simplistic to say “give me more money” or “we have decided to stop providing certain services.” The community or governmental officials may not agree with these “solutions.” Instead, the typical answer is to continue to deliver the same types and levels of services, within the current budgetary appropriation. This reality leaves the police executive, or even the municipal official, with the unenviable task of constantly balancing the budget with the demand for existing service functions and levels. Faced with this dilemma, Youngs asserts, “the steady decline of government’s capital resources and the increasingly urgent search for ways to continue providing the services that citizens demand without raising taxes are driving the privatization trend.”9 At some point, if citizens do not receive the level of protection—and desired service provisions—that they deem necessary, then fear may drive the need to contract out to alternative service providers. In this sense, security or public safety services become a commodity. Simply stated, people will pay for protection. Just as they will pay premium dollars for a BMW or a Saab—due to their perceived (or actual) safety records, people will pay extra dollars to security firms if police departments cannot or will not provide adequate levels of protective services. Indeed, security has become a huge industry, based on both actual and perceived need for specialized or personalized services that the public police cannot provide. Consequently, budgetary and operational constraints facing police agencies may serve to create a market for public safety services within the public realm, just as these services have been supplied in private environments. Page 5 of 16 SecureLaw Ltd.
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Even a cursory view of media reports and economic conditions will lead to the conclusion that public budgets are facing difficult financial circumstances. Terrorism will only exasperate financial constraints. Some police departments have laid off sworn officers for the first time in a generation,10 and others are reducing their personnel levels by attrition and slowing the rate of new hires. The chart below illustrates the reduction levels of some large police departments, ranging from a 4.4% reduction of force in Los Angeles and 5.5% in New Orleans to 8.7% in New York City and 14.9% in Minneapolis.

Source: Kevin Johnson, USA Today, December 2, 2003, pp. 1A-3A While public police departments experience budget constraints, private security firms have dramatically expanded their relative size and scope. Studies of the “public safety” industry reveal a growing disparity between public and private policing. In 1981, the security industry spent approximately $21.7 billion, compared to $13.8 billion on public policing. In 1991, these expenditures rose to $52 billion for private security, compared to only $30 billion for public policing.11 These predictions had private security spending approximately $104 billion in 2000, with public policing spending only $44 billion.12 If these predictions are correct, the ratio of dollars invested in private compared to public policing reveals that about 70% of all money invested in crime prevention and law enforcement is spent on private security.13 Other statistics reveal an annual growth rate for private security to be about double the growth rate of public policing. Through the year 2004, private security was expected to grow at a rate of 8% per year.14 As a consequence of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, certain security firms predict revenue growth to be in the range of 10% to 12% per year.15 Indeed, these figures illustrate that private security is one of the fastest growing industries in the country.16 Most of this growth occurred prior to September 11, 2001. By any account, this data reveals a substantial variance between the two entities.

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Given these statistics and trends, my solution is to make better use of private security personnel, especially in public areas—as a supplement to municipal policing agencies. With more than 2 million security personnel, the private security industry is well positioned to help deliver security services to municipal government and communities.17 Due in part to the growth of the private security industry and by strained municipal budgets, there is a growing trend to employ private police officers in public areas, including within business districts, on public streets within residential communities, and in large semi-public facilities, such as shopping malls and concert and sports stadiums (also termed “mass private property”). The primary purpose of these arrangements is to provide order maintenance and certain “lower level” services to clients (citizens), while the public police focus on tactical enforcement and public safety. I believe this will result in the development of a public safety model of policing, which will witness closer working relationships between public police and private security. Indeed, early advocates for community policing understood that private security was well-suited to provide “client-centered” services, which forms an underlying principle of community policing.18 In this sense, Trojanowicz states that “all public police programs, including community policing, risk being ‘privatized’ out of existence.”19 Notwithstanding Trojanowicz’s well-founded concerns, I believe that contemporary circumstances will foster more, if not most, “community policing” services being delivered by private security or “para-police” officers. Elements of Public Safety Policing There are three key elements of public safety policing that I envision dominating the methods of future police agencies. It is important to note the specific premises of my model. The elements articulated below relate to police services—typically delivered on the street, and in and around mass transportation, critical infrastructure, mass private property, etc. The underlying purpose of these services is protection with a secondary focus on service. Stated another way, the goal is to prevent crime by affecting the opportunity means of criminals and terrorists. These methods can be broadly characterized in the following three ways: 1. Tactical Methods 2. Technological Initiatives 3. Alternative Service Providers Tactical Methods As was briefly discussed above, police will increasingly adopt para-military tactics and weaponry. Just as the military is focusing more on faster and lighter tactics and weapons, Page 7 of 16 SecureLaw Ltd.
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the police will increasingly adopt military weaponry, such as M-16s, armored vehicles, helicopters, and infrared surveillance equipment. Well before 9-11, police departments throughout the country were being supplied by the military. Between 1995 and 1997, the Defense Department gave 1.2 million pieces of military hardware, including 73 grenade launchers and 112 armored personnel carriers to various police agencies, with LAPD itself acquiring 600 M-16’s.20 Interestingly, a survey inquiring into the use of tactical operations in high-crime areas found that 61% of the police agency respondents performed such tactical operations.21 As the threat of terrorism increases, so will the use of tactical methods. Such tactical and aggressive patrol functions, as articulated in the elements of strategic orientated policing, are even encouraged by community policing advocates.22 These tactical units—often called gang and drug units, tactical teams, tactical response units, special weapons and tactics (SWAT), etc.—will flourish, particularly in large cities during times of high threat levels.23 Some authors, like Weber, argue against the use of tactical units. She asserts that “mission creep” will result, in which SWAT teams have a strong incentive to expand their original “emergency” mission into more routine policing activities to “justify their existence.”24 Notwithstanding this assertion, these tactical methods, while inevitably criticized in some circles, will come to be widely accepted—and even desired—in a terroristic atmosphere. In addition to these tactical methods, policing agencies will use saturation patrols to demonstrate a “show of force,” when it is deemed necessary and proper.25 For example, the 6,000 officers employed in London in July 2005, which was the largest concentration of security forces in London since WWII, are illustrative of this methodology.26 While this saturation method is both temporary and costly, the need to symbolically “control” the streets and critical infrastructure is likely to supersede other financial constraints—at least temporarily. In this sense, fear will sometimes trump money, but the realities of budgets and individual rights (or conveniences) will prove to be a difficult counterbalance. Indeed, the baggage searches instituted by NYPD following the July 2005 London bombings have already resulted in lawsuits.27 These examples are illustrative of the realities of 21st century policing. Technological Initiatives Notwithstanding symbolic and operational benefits, the use of tactical and saturation policing methods will increasingly challenge municipal budgeting. This will necessitate the use of more cost-effective policing strategies, as illustrated by the growing use of technologies, such as cameras, computerized crime mapping, networked criminal information systems, facial recognition systems, and other types of interactive software. For example, crime mapping software has enabled the police to become more predictive. Police administrators are directing tactical or “saturation teams” to certain locations to Page 8 of 16 SecureLaw Ltd.
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prevent the occurrence of likely crimes, such as robbery patterns or gang shootings, as developed through the use of crime mapping techniques. While these technologies and techniques are not perfect, they represent a quantum leap in the crime-fighting methods of policing agencies. Each of these technologies is designed to detect or prevent occurrences within a particular location. Consider that the Chicago Police Department is developing a networked system of cameras that will enable an officer in the squad car or the dispatch center to monitor such diverse conditions as gunshots on street corners to unattended briefcases within a protected facility. Other cities around the country are using cameras for both crime deterrence and traffic enforcement. For example, cities that have recently installed or enhanced camera systems within public locations include the following: Los Angeles; Baltimore; New Orleans; Washington, DC; Brentwood, California; Crown Point, Indiana; Columbia, South Carolina; Tampa, Florida; Gary, Indiana; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Merrillville, Indiana; Calumet City, Illinois; and San Francisco.28 The list goes on. Surely many more cities will implement CCTV systems sooner than later. This list is limited to technology within the public realm. Of course, private firms have used cameras and other security technologies within their protected facilities for decades. The point, of course, is that such technologies are now being used by public police agencies on the public way. This is a qualitative change that will change the way policing agencies operate. Alternative Service Providers In addition to tactics and technologies, the delivery of police services to a given community or within a given environment will still be necessary and proper; however, the days of police officers answering barking dog and noise complaints, guarding crime scenes, directing traffic, responding to alarm calls, etc. will be numbered. Simply stated, municipal police departments will not be able to afford employing highly trained and relatively highly paid police officers to perform such routine functions. I believe that alternative service initiatives will be an increasingly viable alternative for such routine functions. Alternative service providers are, in essence, civilians who perform certain service functions—from parking enforcement to crime scene security. These services are costeffective, and they reduce the service provisions required of sworn officers. While some of these tasks have long ago shifted away from sworn officers, there are growing indications that alternative service providers will substantially increase. I predict that innovative initiatives utilizing private police personnel to perform basic police services, including order maintenance functions, will be widespread. Of course, order maintenance is a key component of the community policing model.29 The desire for these arrangements will be attractive for many reasons. Page 9 of 16 SecureLaw Ltd.
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As the threat—or the reality—of terrorism grows, so will the need for security. Using the past 4 years as an indicator, it is reasonable to presume that the impact of terrorism will continue to strain governmental budgets. This will result in continued innovation. Technology and tactical techniques will only go so far. Cameras on street corners may help deter criminals, but will they deter the committed terrorist? Tactical police officers may help prevent terrorist attacks, but they cannot be everywhere. What is needed are more “eyes and ears” on the public way. This could be accomplished by focusing sworn police officers on tactical functions and shifting service and order maintenance functions to alternative service providers. Two options for alternative service providers exist: either they are employed by government or by private firms. Each type of supplemental service has its own strengths and weaknesses. The use of private police, however, has particular appeal because property or business owners can directly contract for public safety service provisions without adversely affecting municipal budgets. While space does not allow for a full treatment of these options, both will coexist, but private firms will be the preference. In essence, private firms provide cost savings to municipal budgets through lower salaries, little or no pension and medical costs, overhead savings, more discretion for job actions (due to lack of unions or contract provisions), and other similar factors. Indeed, some privatized arrangements are exclusively funded by voluntary real estate tax increases by business and property owners, thereby costing little or nothing from the municipal budget. These “para-police” officers will perform many service and order maintenance functions—on the public way—that public police officers are unable or unwilling to perform. These functions include controlling loitering, public drinking, and rowdy behavior; providing “street corner security” in business or mixed commercial/ residential districts; and responding to burglar alarm calls. These, and other such tasks, are critical for a secure, orderly environment. Looking at such tasks from a conceptual manner, it is useful to think of the location of the services in relation to the service provision. This location-to-provision analysis is illustrated by the diagram below:

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Traditionally, security firms have operated almost exclusively within private environments. This is illustrated by the Corporate Security box. In this sense, security personnel are the “sheriffs” within their environment, acting with little or no support from the public police. The practice in this environment is that security act as a “substitute” for police agencies, providing most, if not all, of the security services at the particular location. Similarly, the towns of Reminderville, Ohio, and Sussex, New Jersey, fired their police departments and hired security firms to replace them. While these arrangements proved unsustainable, it represents the extreme of privatization—being the actual “sheriff” within the town. To be clear, I do not advocate such an extreme approach. I do, however, advocate the use of privatized patrols as supplements in both private and public environments. This is where the focus will be as we go forward. As illustrated by the diagram, security firms are operating in private environments; such as gated communities, corporate and college campuses, large shopping malls, and sports and concert facilities (i.e., “mass private property”). These supplemental services within a private location provide an additional level of security, typically through patrols, access controls, and other security-related methodologies. Similarly, some public locations, as illustrated by Marquette Park, Starrett City, Center City, and Grand Central, have formed Business Improvement Districts or Special Service Districts, where private and public police act in a supplemental work sharing arrangement. In these locations, private security firms provide patrol and other “quality-of-life” services that the police are unable or unwilling to perform. Most of the functional service provision is manifested in “observe and report” and order maintenance tasks. In this sense, these arrangements combine the traditional “observe and report” function of private security with the order maintenance role traditionally reserved for public police. Performing such functions in the public domain, however, raises important public safety and public policy questions. Notwithstanding the potential for both benefit and abuse, these private patrols have been relatively unstudied within academic research and largely overlooked by policy-makers. Page 11 of 16 SecureLaw Ltd.
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Considering the relative lack of research, I conducted extensive research on privatized patrol arrangements, which included riding in a patrol car as the private police officers performed their duties. As one of the few—if not the first—to perform such ride-along research, I had a bird’s eye view of this new policing model. The study demonstrated that private police officers will perform many service and order maintenance functions. The research also revealed that even law enforcement functions, such as arrests for gun possession and serious crimes, were performed by private security personnel—as they patrol public streets. It also demonstrated that constitutionally violative searches and seizures would occur and that questionable legal authority will complicate their patrol functions. Consequently, because of the extended scope of private police within public and semi-public property, the need for professionalism within the industry has dramatically increased.30 Specifically, my research addressed a key element of this new policing model: the use of private (para) police patrols on public streets. In assessing the functions performed by private police, I found that order maintenance was their dominant function (51.5%). This is consistent with the “client service” focus of private security and is consistent with a key premise of community policing—reducing disorderly conditions results in less crime. The remaining functions by the private police officers were observe and report (31.8%) and law enforcement (16.6%). These findings reveal that private police focus on certain “lower” level police functions, such as order maintenance and as the “eyes and ears” of the police (the “observe and report” function). In this way, private police demonstrate that they could perform these functions—thereby allowing municipal police departments the ability and resources to focus on higher level concerns or threats. Based partly on these functional findings, plus such factors as licensing, uniforms, weaponry, and the coordination and cooperation with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department, I concluded that these security officers were “public actors,” thereby making constitutional protections applicable. Since constitutional protections were applicable, I concluded that the security officers violated the 4th Amendment in their quest to provide public safety services to the community. Added to this negative conclusion, was the fact that there was little, if any, formal accountability within the privatized patrol arrangement, and little formal training, other than the basic 40-hour standard required by the state.31 Clearly, these are important indicators of the viability and professionalism required of public safety providers. One compelling conclusion is that municipal police and private security will become increasingly interrelated in a public safety industry. In order for this to occur, however, private police must exhibit increased professionalism at the patrol level, which can only be accomplished by a requisite increase in training, wages, and accountability. Consequently, if “parapolice” are to function within the public realm, they must be prepared to appropriately contribute to the order maintenance and service needs of the Page 12 of 16 SecureLaw Ltd.
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community, thereby taking on the supportive “paraprofessionals” of municipal police departments. The use of private security patrols has its corollary in both the legal and medical professions. About three decades ago, there was much controversy in both the legal and medical professions related to the growing use of para-professionals. Many in these professions viewed the introduction of “paramedics” and “paralegals” as an offensive and even dangerous intrusion into the standards maintained within the industry.32 In these professions, market and fiscal constraints necessitated the development of supplemental service providers to act as para-professionals for the higher skilled, licensed professionals. In this way, para-medics and para-legals contribute to client service delivery, while simultaneously supporting the professionals in a structured “work sharing” or division of labor relationship. This working relationship is manifested in different functional and cognitive roles.33 Looking at this concern based on 21st century norms, any “controversy” seems pale. Indeed, not only have these respective professions been able to sustain high standards, but the work product of these para-professionals is critical to the service provision afforded to their clientele. Similarly, para-police services can be contracted through government for such things as crime scene security, traffic control, crime reporting, and other similar services; and through community or business associations for patrol and alarm response services. In this sense, I advocate the integration of “para-police” into the public safety model of policing. Implications of Public Safety Policing As implied in the above discussion, this new model of policing is a challenge, complicated by a number of factors. First, bringing private security and municipal policing together will require a bridge that joins these seemingly complimentary, but often conflicted, entities. This requires more than “partnerships” between security and policing. It requires a structural approach, in which security personnel and municipal police are joined together within the organizational chart—and the organizational cultures of the respective entities. Space does not allow for flushing out the intricacies of these structural components. Suffice to say, policy- and decision-makers should look to successful public-private models for insight and direction.34 Most importantly, the increased use of tactical policing, and the reliance on technologies and para-police will result in certain unintended consequences. It will create a tension between two critical principles: security and freedom. Just as fear is driving the need for security, it may also trump the quest for individual rights. In this sense, the desire for security will motivate people to hire private police officers or to use more and more surveillance methods. If these methods are not adequately restricted and controlled, they Page 13 of 16 SecureLaw Ltd.
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may lead to abuses.35 Furthermore, if tactical police units or para-police personnel are not adequately trained and skilled, they are likely to violate our rights in the quest to keep us safe.36 In order to achieve the balance between security and rights, we must require higher levels of training, licensing standards, and more accountability. Particularly with para-policing, this will require regulations, legitimatized legal authority, and increased expenditures for these services. Consequently, the relationship between the money expended and the services rendered creates a delicate balancing act. The optimal balance can only be achieved in relative calm, as opposed to the face of fear. The use of tactical police, para-police, and technology within public environments is likely to be increased in direct relation to the level of terroristic threat. This will foster competing desires of security and liberty. Those who are fearful of crime and terrorism naturally desire more security. Those who worry about liberty and constitutional rights will demand accountability and professionalism from public safety service providers. These goals, however, are often competing. These competing goals are complicated by security methodologies designed to control human behavior and the environment surrounding the potential target. In security parlance, this is known as “target hardening.” Target hardening is designed to protect the facility or person from physical attack. Protecting the target, however, usually requires control and surveillance, both of which are likely to affect the liberty and constitutional rights of the controlled or the surveilled. Conversely, the more liberty afforded within society, the less secure its citizens are likely to be. Liberty—by its very nature—allows for the free flow of people within society. In this sense, liberty—through the application of constitutional protections, allows citizens to interact, reside, conduct business, and move to and fro in a relatively unencumbered manner. The ability to do so, however, may provide opportunities or vulnerabilities to physical attack. Consequently, the conveniences and rights afforded to citizens of this country facilitate a perverse counter-objective—the destruction of people and property by those who are inclined to do so. In summary, I believe that a new policing model—one dominated by tactical, technological, and alternative service providers—is required by the economic and operational realities of policing; however, these methods raise important legal, constitutional, and public policy questions. Indeed, like any major public policy initiative, the potential for unintended consequences exist. If my findings are indicative of para-policing patrols within the public realm, then much work needs to be done. On one hand, the police and the public need help, which the security industry is uniquely capable of providing. On the other hand, the alternative service providers must be deployed in a systematic and professional fashion. Simply Page 14 of 16 SecureLaw Ltd.
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stated, too much is at stake. Public safety and constitutional protections will be affected—positively or negatively—by how this new policing model is ultimately implemented. While we can expect mistakes to occur, the level of professionalism exhibited by those charged with public safety will be a key indicator in our level of success. In this sense, wrestling with these identifiable deficiencies, constitutes a critical, yet basic, subject that needs to be further addressed and explored. What seems certain is that current societal conditions influencing this new policing model are prevalent. It’s the “perfect storm” that cannot be stopped. We can only prepare for its arrival. Indeed, it is already here. Most people simply have not detected or articulated its presence. Consequently, we may be drawing near to the goal of a “police officer on every block.” The definition of the police officer, however, may be expanded to include diverse elements like cameras and private security personnel. In this sense, the time has come to redefine the nature of policing. In doing so, we must consider the delicate balance between security and liberty.37 © James F. Pastor, 2005 Endnotes
1. 2. 3. Oliver, W. M. (2004). Community-oriented policing: A systemic approach to policing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Oliver op cit. at pp. 32-46; and Kelling, G. (1995, May/June). Reduce serious crime by restoring order. The American Enterprise, 17-18. See Trojanowicz, R. C. (1988, Fall/Winter). Serious threats to the future of policing. Footprints, National Center for Community Policing. He stated that “educating the public that the police can do little about the root causes of crime, such as poverty and unemployment, may help improve their overall credibility” (p. 2). Oliver op cit. at pp. 78-104; and Trojanowicz op. cit. at p. 3. Goldman, G., & Shusett, R. (Executive Producers). (2002). Minority report [Motion Picture]. United States: 20th Century Fox & Dreamworks, LLC. Stephens, G. (2005, March/April). Policing the future: Law enforcement’s new challenges. The Futurist, 39(2), 51-57. Kelling, G. L., & Coles, C. M. (1996). Fixing broken windows: Restoring order & reducing crime in our communities. New York: Simon & Schuster. See for example McEwen, T., Spence, D., Wolff, R., Wartell, J., & Webster, B. (2003, February). Call management & community policing: A guidebook for law enforcement. Washington, DC: Institute for Law & Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. Youngs, A. (2004, January). The future of public/private partnerships. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 73(1), 7-11. See for example Meyer, A. (2003, May 18). Layoffs are turning blue. Chicago Tribune, 10-11. Cunningham, W. C., Strauchs, J. J., & Van Meter, C. W. (1991). Private security: Patterns & trends. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. Ibid Carlson, T. (1995, Summer). Safety, inc.: Private cops are there when you need them. Policy Review, 73, 52-62; and H.B. 2996: Law Enforcement & Industry Security Cooperation Act of 1996 (104th Congress), February 29, 1996.

4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

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14. Bailin, P. (2000, November). Gazing into security’s future. Security Management, 27-33. 15. Perez, E. (2002, April 9). Demand for security still promises profit. The Wall Street Journal, A10. 16. Zielinski, M. (1999). Armed & dangerous: Private security on the march. Covert Action Quarterly. Available online at caq.com/caq/caq54p.police.html 17. See for example, U.S. Department of Justice. (2004). National policy summit: Building private security/public policing partnerships to prevent and respond to terrorism and public disorder. Washington, DC: Author. 18. Davis, R. C., Dadush, S., & Frish, J. (2000, August). The public accountability of private police: Lessons of New York, Johannesburg & Mexico City. New York: Vera Institute of Justice. 19. Trojanowicz op cit. at p. 1. 20. Weber, D. C. (1999). Warrior cops: The ominous growth of para-militarism in American police departments. Washington, DC: Cato Institute. 21. Ibid at p. 8. 22. Oliver op cit. at pp. 51-75. 23. Spielman, F., & Main, F. (2003, June 24). Elite police unit to flood streets in city’s hot spots. Chicago Sun Times, 24. 24. Weber op cit. at p. 11. 25. Davies, H. J., & Murphy, G. R. (2002). Protecting your community from terrorism: Strategies for local law enforcement, working with diverse communities. Community Oriented Policing Services & Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) at p. 34; and Weber op cit. at p. 8. 26. The Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2005. 27. The New York Times, August 8, 2005. 28. These examples are taken from open sources collected by the Department of Homeland Security and are disseminated in its daily security briefings. Also see Shenk, D. (2003, November). Watching you: The world of high-tech surveillance. National Geographic, 4-29; and Video surveillance: Information on law enforcement’s use of closed circuit television to monitor selected federal property in Washington, DC. (2003, June). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Accounting Office, GAO-03-748. 29. Oliver, op cit. pp. 27-35; Cox, S. M. (1990). Policing into the 21st century. Police Studies, 13(4), 168-177; Johnston, L. (1992). The rebirth of private policing. London: Routledge. 30. For a more complete discussion on this matter, see Pastor, J. F. (2003). The privatization of police in America: An analysis & case study. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. 31. Pastor op cit. at pp. 164-184. 32. See for example, McLeod, R. (2002). Para police: A revolution in the business of law enforcement. Toronto: Boheme Press. 33. See for example, Bayley, D. H., & Shearing, C. D. (2001, July). The new structure of policing: Description, conceptualization & research agenda. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. 34. Pastor op cit. at pp. 84-100. 35. Colias, M. (2004, April 30). Neighbors divided over Chicago’s crime-busting cameras. USA Today, 15; Konkol, M. J., Hantschel, A., & Hohl, A. (2003, July 11). The police are watching: Chicago force unveils camera system that will record activity on the streets. Daily Southtown, 9. 36. Main, F. (2004, January 15). Harvey’s armed marshals accused of breaking law.Chicago Sun Times, 7. 37. Selected portions of this article were excerpted from Pastor, J. F. (2005, March/April). Terrorism & public safety policing. Crime & Justice International, 21(85), 4-8, with permission from the editor.

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