Monday, April 13, 2015

Private Police Law Enforcement Outfits Lead by Example with 60% Drop in Local Crimes

""A new trend is sweeping across America, and it's an idea whose time may have come: Private police forces - as in, forces that do not subsist on tax dollars or work on behalf of local, city or county governments.

As reported by the Washington Post, the idea is built on one that is older than our republic. In the days of English common law, "conservators of the peace" were individuals empowered to protect communities and businesses, using established laws and rules.

"The conservator of the peace concept predates modern policing," the paper reported. "It has its origins in English common law, and the first Virginia statute was enacted in 1860 to allow proprietors of 'watering places' to protect their establishments."

In Virginia, especially, Special Conservators of the Peace, or SCOPs as they are called, are becoming increasingly common, though not everyone is a fan of them. The Post noted:

The trend has raised concerns in Virginia and elsewhere, because these armed officers often receive a small fraction of the training and oversight of their municipal counterparts. Arrests of private police officers and incidents involving SCOPs overstepping their authority have also raised concerns.

'61 percent less crime'

As such, and in typical fashion, lawmakers are looking for ways to quash this increasingly popular mode of policing. In Virginia, the state Legislature recently passed a measure that would require boosting the number of training hours SCOPs would have to complete. Also, the bill contains new rules that would regulate their actions. Other states are moving to implement stricter requirements as well.

But as noted by The Sputnik, the trend of overly-authoritarian requirements is bucking the trend of rising success among private police forces. In some places, crime has decreased by substantial double-digit percentages.

The Sputnik cited a town in Texas where crime rates have fallen drastically after private police were employed:

Rather than degenerate into a lawless land where criminals rule the streets, a Texas town that fired its entire police department has seen a 61 percent decrease in crime.

In 2012, Sharpstown, a community of 66,000 located just southwest of Houston, declined to renew its contract with the constable's office, essentially dismissing its cops.

Instead, the Sharpstown Civic Association hired SEAL Security Solutions, a private firm, to patrol their streets.

"Since we've been in there, an independent crime study that they've had done [indicates] we've reduced the crime by 61% in just 20 months," James Alexander, Director of Operations for SEAL, told another web site, Guns.com.""

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