The paradox of private policing

  • Joh E
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This article deals with the paradox of private policing which states that while the law multiplies distinctions between private and public police, the two groups perform many of the same tasks, and private police benefit from heavy public involvement. Private policing is referred to the various lawful forms of organized for-profit personnel services whose primary objectives include the control of crime, the protection of property and life, and the maintenance of order. The public police are armed, uniformed public servants charged with enforcing the criminal law. They are members of a bureaucracy created by political and legislative processes and are also expected to maintain public order, or to keep peace. As of 2004, public agencies are increasingly relying upon private police act as partners with the public police. The popularity of these partnerships comes at a time when there are doubts about capability of government to act as the primary provider of security to the public. By the end of the 1990s, the language of public-private partnerships permeated discussions of public police innovation. There are three general types of partnerships. First, for some public police departments, the increased acceptability of partnerships has led to their greater willingness to enter into joint investigation with private police, both by lending public personnel, as well as by providing administrative and technical resources. Second, some partnerships provide a formal means to share information on crime patterns and suspects. Third, in specia tax assessment districts, groups of private property owners in physical proximity to one another agree to tax themselves, in excees of their normal obligations, to pay for additional collective services such as private police and sanitation workers.

Author-supplied keywords

  • CRIMINAL justice personnel
  • PRIVATE police
  • PUBLIC officers
  • PUBLIC-private sector cooperation

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  • Elizabeth E Joh

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