Security officers, on the other hand, receive comparatively little training prior to their first assignment. On average, a security officer only receives six hours of training! Personally, I find these figures alarming because it is estimated that there are about 2.5 security officers for every police officer in the United States. Despite the difference in training, security and police officers are almost indistinguishable. Both are armed, patrol in squad cars, and wear uniforms. Something I found interesting, that was argued by Rick Rudell, is that an increased presence of of security officers indicates that a government is slowly losing control of its police monopoly. To say that all security officers lack proper training is a generalization that cannot be applied to everyone. It should be noted that many security officers are ex-military and off duty police officers that possess highly specialized skills.
With time permitting, I would highly recommend reading this article. Using empirical research and data, authors of the article argue that security officers play a larger role in crime fighting and prevention than the actual police.
A major criticism of the private sector is that they lack bureaucratic restraints and are only motivated to act based upon their employers' interests. This means that if they witness something illegal, they are not required to act. If security officers do decide to act, they are not required to do so with fairness or even legally. Certain aspects of due process may be neglected or overlooked. The only thing I can think of that keeps them from abusing their power are costly court cases from being sued. Currently talking about ethics in class, I feel that this topic is very fitting. Since private security officers and public police officers have similar objectives, should we hold them to the same standard?
Ruddell, R., Thomas, M., & Pattern, R. (2010). Examining the roles of he police and private
security officers in urban social control. International Journal of Police Science &
Management, 13(1), 54-66.
Walker, S., & Katz, C. (2011). The police in america. (7 ed., pp. 63-169). New York, NY: Mc-