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Roles and Responsibilities of Public Policing vs. Private Security, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

The leadership roles in the public police sector are geared towards satisfying the expectations of the general public. On the other hand, the leadership roles of private security aim at satisfying the expectations of individuals. This is because the public police act on the government’s behalf and the society in enforcing laws, maintain peace deterring crime and assist in the prosecution of offenders, therefore, leadership within this organization should aim at this end. Additionally public police receive their authority from legislation and more often than not, the leadership within this organization reflects on the legislation giving authority to the public police force. On the other hand, private security acts private security operates in the private domain and their operations usually deal with civil issues (Gilbert & Schichor, 2001, p. 85). In this regard, the leadership of private security firms follows an approach aimed at satisfying the expectations of the individuals engaging these firms. The leadership in private security, therefore, does not follow the conventional system used by public police but rather its leadership policies are more business-like.

Concerning hierarchy, the leadership hierarchy used by the public police involves a complex chain of command whereas private security firms have a clear hierarchy and often lack the complexities associated with the former. The difference in hierarchy usually stems from the specialization approach used by private security firms. Public police have several tasks to accomplish and with the spirit of better management and accountability, a chain of hierarchy adopted to micromanage each of the roles of the departments in public police. These may include sections like crime investigations, victim assistance, prosecution, and community policing (Nemeth 2011, p. 175). On the other hand, private security firms offer specialized services and, therefore, have only one department.

Given that the first contact with the criminal justice system in the police it is imperative to note that, the police play a tremendously instrumental part in the whole criminal justice system. It is also noteworthy that the criminal justice system is reliant on the police force. This is because the outcome of the whole process is determined by the policies adopted by the law enforcers. In light of this, therefore, the role of the public police in the criminal justice system involves the apprehension of offenders, investigation of offenses, providing assistance to victims, detection of crime, deterrence of crime and maintaining peace and order. The bulk of contribution to the criminal justice system is from the public police as they have a task of enforcing criminal law.

The private security firms, on the other hand, also contribute to the criminal justice system and have similar to the roles with the public police. Cockcroft (2012) provides that this is usually possible through joint investigations by both private and public security bodies and public agents delegating authority to private security firms. Conducting these joint operations ensures that the private security firms make a contribution the criminal justice system.  Private security firms also do investigations, which are essential in the criminal justice system. Detection, deterrence, and enforcing criminal laws are also tasks undertaken by the private security firms. Moreover, private security firms assist victims of crime much as the public police do and act as an extra eye for the criminal justice system. These firms also assist in prosecutions through the collection of evidence.

The essential duties of public police include conducting investigations, maintaining peace, order, and protect the public. The public, police officers have a duty to facilitate the criminal justice system by facilitating effective contribution to the prosecutions by not only conducting investigations and collecting evidence but also acting as witnesses in the process. The duties of public police stem from legislation and have the public being the center of interest. Public officers also have the duty to prevent and detect crime and assist the public with concerns of security emergencies and crime. However, the primary task of the public police is to enforce criminal laws as provided for in the relevant statutes.

Private security sectors share most of their duties and roles with the public police and as discussed, these include deterrence of crime, investigations, apprehension, and provision of assistance to victims as well as enforcing criminal law and emergency services. However, the basic role of private security firms is protecting private property and in extension private interests. Individuals who desire the protection or services similar to the public police or specialized services that can be provided by these firms often contract private security firms. According to Stark (2010) the duties and the roles of these firms, therefore have a primary focus on the interest of their clients. Accordingly, the duties and roles of private security firms are more clients oriented unlike the roles and duties of public police, which puts the interests of the society at the forefront in performing their duties. The role of public police is, therefore, wider as they have an obligation to everyone while that of private security firms is more specific as obligation only accrues to the specific clientele.

Reference list

Cockcroft, T 2012, Police Cultures. Routledge.

Gilbert M. J.& Schichor, D 2001, Privatization of Criminal Justice: Past Present and Future, Elsevier, New York.

Nemeth, C 2011, Private Security and the Law. Elsevier,

Stark, A 2010, Drawing the Line: Public and Private in America, Brookings Institution Press, New Jersey.

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