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Special Police Powers: Pros and Cons

NCJ Number
Security Management Volume: 33 Issue: 8 Dated: (August 1989) Pages: 54-58
N Bates
Date Published
5 pages
For both the corporation and the community, there are advantages and disadvantages to empowering private security officers with police authority.
Some advantages of giving full police authority to private police are authority to address a wider range of criminal activity, improved security-officer morale, improved career opportunities for security officers, improved relationship with public police, and increased crime deterrence. Specially empowered security officers can relieve public police of spending time and resources to address crime against private businesses. Some disadvantages of empowering private police with full police authority are the attraction which such authority holds for many undesirable candidates, the risk of increasing unnecessary arrests, limited constitutional restraints on private security employees compared to public police, the increased liability of government entities for actions of private security officers they have licensed, the risk of inequitable enforcement, and expanded administrative responsibilities for municipal governments licensing private police.