Sunday, April 07, 2013

As cities lay off police, frustrated neighborhoods turn to private cops -

As cities lay off police, frustrated neighborhoods turn to private cops -
Long known for patrolling shopping malls and gated communities, private security firms are beginning to spread into city streets. While private security has long been contracted by homeowners associations and commercial districts, the trend of groups of neighbors pooling money to contract private security for their streets is something new. Besides Oakland, neighborhoods in Atlanta and Detroit – both cities with high rates of crime – have hired firms to patrol their neighborhoods, says Steve Amitay, executive director of the National Association of Security Contractor. “It’s happening everywhere,” Mr. Amitay says. “Municipal governments and cities are really getting strapped in terms of their resources, and when a police department cuts 100 officers obviously they are going to respond to less crimes.”
So affluent neighborhoods are starting to do what businesses have been doing since the 1970s by forming Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) and contracting for a higher level of police (and other services) than the municipality can provide.  And note this:  "Meanwhile, the private security industry is projected to grow by about 19 percent – from 1 million to 1.2 million guards – between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most of that growth will come because private firms are doing jobs once held by law enforcement, according to the bureau."

1 comment:

IC_deLight said...

Some areas require HOA-subdivisions to pay for "extra patrol", i.e., any patrol. There is quite a competitive business between county law enforcement and municipal law enforcement (where it exists) to seek out contracts with HOA corporations throughout the area. There are serious problems with this scheme.

First and foremost, these homeowners are again paying taxes for services that are never delivered. Second but more importantly, one can never trust who law enforcement is really working for. When working for the HOA corporation they are nothing but mercenaries inappropriately wearing their normal work uniforms to mislead folks into believing that law enforcement personnel is on official business. They should be absolutely prohibited from using government uniforms when hired as private security. When working for the HOA corporation, the "cops" are more concerned about doing whatever is necessary to keep a private corporation board happy - NOT respecting constitutional rights.