Today the private security industry employs approximately 1.5 million people and spends over $52 billion annually. In contrast, public police forces employ approximately 600,000 people and spend $30 billion annually. Private policing promises to be a big part of the response to today’s increased security concerns, as citizens realize that security is much more than the presence of guards and the perception of safety. This book addresses the impact and implications of private policing on public streets, and begins with a look at private policing from conceptual, historical, economic, legal and functional perspectives. These approaches provide the background for the text, which focuses on a private policing patrol program in a community on the south side of Chicago. The text also demonstrates a number of substantive legal and public policy issues which directly or indirectly relate to the provision of security services; some people see the need for a "dual system" of policing—one for the wealthy and one for the poor—and others see the provision of private security as the primary protective resource in contemporary America. The author also examines how private policing is different from and similar to public policing.
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