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Thread: Controversy over program that gives security guards police powers on specific properties

  1. #1
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Controversy over program that gives security guards police powers on specific properties

    The two men wore body armor with "POLICE" written across the chest and spilled out of their unmarked car, weapons drawn, ordering Christopher Dukes and his passenger out of their vehicle at a South Baltimore gas station parking lot. When Dukes pulled off, they embarked on a high-speed chase down Interstate 295 until catching up and placing the pair under arrest, charging documents show.

    Then it was time for the real police to take over.

    The men in the body armor were not Baltimore police officers or federal agents, but instead a little-known classification of security guards known as "special police," who are commissioned by the city or state to arrest and detain citizens — but only on specific properties.

    For decades, they have added an extra layer of eyes and ears on the streets, supplementing the sworn police force at no cost to taxpayers and protecting some of Baltimore's most venerable institutions. But some of the officers have also faced lawsuits and resident complaints, leading city police to re-evaluate whether to continue the program.
    Maryland, Baltimore 'Special Police' program gives security guards police powers - baltimoresun.com

  2. #2
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    Private security is attractive because of its affordability. There are a lot of companies that put people in uniforms that look like police with guns but only a week or two of training and a credit check and criminal history check that substitutes for a background investigation. You get people who think they are police but got more training from TJ Hooker than in a classroom. It's a huge liability. There most certainly is a place for professional security but there must be a bright line between asset protection and law enforcement.

    Governments that try to fill budget gaps with security instead of police will find the savings eventually wiped out with lawsuits.
    keith720 and lewisipso like this.
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    Wow... Speechless
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    "Governments that try to fill budget gaps with security instead of police will find the savings eventually wiped out with lawsuits. "

    Scary !! Lawsuits would work if the govt and those making the decisions had some acountability, consequences and personal liability. "Executive privilege" and various "immunities" written into the exec orders (not the legislature) would make for no accountability. Remember that our tax dollars will untimately pay for their wrongdoing. Has anyone who exercises "privilege" or "immunity" EVER gone to prison for the bad decisions they made???

    Smells like Obama's "Civilian Defense Force". A lot of Obama supporters cannot get a sworn law enforcement job due to intellect, drug use, no credit, criminal history, non-citizens, etc. SEIU, an Obama (accomplice) union, is pushing to unionize private security, = "JOBS" Who controls the venue?? ....who is going to hear the grievances of people attacked by the goon squads?? Give the Democrat Party another 4 years, "redress of grievances" will disappear while "we the people" are watching network news.

    Historical precedent: the Pinkerton Agency. Late 19th, early 20th century. More recent are private military contractors (i.e. Blackwater) vs the Regular Armed Forces.
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    SECTION 40-18-110. Authority and arrest powers of those licensed or registered under chapter.
    A person who is registered or licensed under this chapter and who is hired or employed to provide security services on specific property is granted the authority and arrest power given to sheriff's deputies. The security officer may arrest a person violating or charged with violating a criminal statute of this State but possesses the powers of arrest only on the property on which he is employed.
    It's legal, but do we do it? Hell no. We call the cops. If we tried, we'd likely be fired. That said, I'm sure there are companies who try it.
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  6. #6
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    40:1379.1. Special officers; powers and duties; concealed handgun permit

    A. The superintendent of state police shall be authorized to issue at his discretion a special officer's commission from the division of state police. Any person who receives a special officer's commission must display need for statewide police power and power to arrest, be bonded, and adhere to all restrictive stipulations as set forth in the special officer's commission.

    B. The special officer, when performing those tasks requiring a special officer's commission, shall have the same powers and duties as a peace officer; provided, however, that when not performing these tasks directly related to the special officer's commission, he shall be regarded as a private citizen and his commission shall not be in effect.

    C. The superintendent of state police shall determine who is entitled to receive a special officer's commission and may promulgate and adopt regulations providing with respect to the issuance and use of said permits.

    D. The superintendent of state police shall have the authority to revoke any special officer's commission for cause, and is further empowered to require those holding special officer's commissions to furnish proof of their being bonded and such other information as may be deemed necessary for determining suitability for holding a special officer's commission.

    E. All special officer or agent commissions previously issued by the department of public safety are rescinded upon the effective date of this Section.


    New Orleans has been doing it forever. Both my grandfather and myself have held those commissions. They are primarily reserved for armed private security and the company usually places heavier restrictions via policy. The training, however, was as Xiphos explained. Surprised lawsuits were not abundant.
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  7. #7
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    There is one town ( I can't remember the name) up in northern Ohio where the police force is a private entity. They are all state certified officers but are not part of a municipality. The town is one of those exclusive type communities were people drive golf carts around and make more money in one hour than most of us make in a month. I have no problem with this type of thing as long as they are required to ad hear to the same standards as any cop and they follow the rules.

  8. #8
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    Doesn't San Francisco have Special Police? Seems I red about it some time ago.



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