March 9th, 2007 05:50 PM
Security Guards carry SMGs?
It's a common sight in the well-to-do neighborhoods of poor countries: A submachine gun-toting private security guard stands watch over a rich person's house. The drowsy rent-a-cop with the crumpled uniform and an Uzi signals two unsettling facts. One, crime is a problem in this area. Two, the police lack the resources to do their job. Safety belongs to those who can afford it.
One Oakland neighborhood is wondering if those conditions now exist here. Frustrated by a perceived rise in crime like robberies, burglaries, and auto theft, some residents in Maxwell Park are weighing the possibility of hiring a private security company to patrol the streets at night.
An anonymous donor has given $1,500 to conduct an experiment aimed at learning if private security guards can appreciably lower crime in Maxwell Park. If it works, neighborhood contributions would keep the service going. The idea is not popular with everyone. And even the idea's supporters are moving forward with care and caution. Martin Scolnick, a Maxwell Park resident and the person marshaling the initiative, allows that recruiting private security to guard the neighborhood carries risks. "We could receive less police attention," he says, expressing the fear that OPD will scale back coverage of the area if private security is known to be there.
There are also residents who don't like the idea of private security guards roaming the neighborhood, Mr. Scolnick says. It's a reasonable fear, given that security guards are often not as well-trained or as well-paid as their counterparts in the police force. In 2006, an experienced security guard in California could expect to earn around $26,000. Compare that to the $69,000 a rookie Oakland cop makes during the first year.
Mr. Scolnick acknowlwdges that a one-month experiment can't be conclusive because crime rates in Maxwell Park fluctuate month to month. It would take several months at least to determine if private security guards lessened crime.
It's no news flash that crime is on the rise in Oakland. In a report delivered to Oakland City Council Tuesday, the police chief allowed that just about every beat in the city is seeing more crime. In the last three months, Maxwell Park (Beat 28x on the OPD map) has suffered 10 burglaries, 36 auto thefts, eight robberies, and 14 aggravated assaults. Throughout Oakland, neighborhoods are asking for more police protection.
At a visit to the Maxwell Park Neighborhood Council in January, police chief Wayne Tucker said OPD would help the neighborhood draft guidelines for a private security company if the neighborhood wanted to pursue the idea. But privately, other police officers in the city think enlisting private security to patrol Maxwell Park is a bad idea.
The cops are not simply defending turf. It's easy to see the ways private security could make life worse for everyone except the criminals. There are the obvious liability issues. What happens if a security guard injures someone while in the employment of the neighborhood? There's also the fear of placing something as important as personal safety into the hands of poorly paid workers.
And then there are the ways that the presence of private security guards could divide a neighborhood. If a handful of residents decide to go forward with the experiment, and a security guard does something stupid, it's not only the security company that will take the blame. Could neighborhood unity survive the presence of private security patrol regarded as the employees of a particular group?
It's heartening that Mr. Scolnick and his allies are advancing the idea thoughtfully, and asking themselves these questions. But it might be better if they dropped the scheme altogether. Mr. Scolnick says he still hasn't learned if the security company he'd like to hire is willing. Patrolling an entire, un-gated neighborhood is new territory for a company used to guarding motels and providing back-up muscle at events like concerts. No doubt, they will be eager to expand into this new line of business, if not in Maxwell Park, then somewhere else.
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March 9th, 2007 07:34 PM
If every resident could have a concealed weapon and a AK47 they wouldn't need a security guard. But then we are talking about a bunch of sheep who couldn't protect themselves even if allowed to carry.
March 9th, 2007 07:57 PM
Sounds like easy pickins to me. These people are unarmed sheep waiting to be robbed. I say ,too bad look who they voted into office
March 9th, 2007 10:08 PM
I would modify this a bit to say that the perception of security belongs to those who can afford it. A "drowsy rent-a-cop with the crumpled uniform" hardly seems like the epitome of vigilance. I have to wonder if he would be aware enough to spot a crime in progress, or even to prevent a criminal from getting the drop on him. As with the recent WalMart incident, the security guard might end up handing over that Uzi to the local criminals, rather than shooting them with it.
Originally Posted by paramedic70002
As Colonel Cooper said, "Owning a gun no more makes you armed than owning a guitar makes you a musician." I think most security guards tend to be 'guitar owners'. Hiring men with guns is easy. Hiring men who know how to use guns well is a lot more difficult (and expensive).
March 10th, 2007 01:56 AM
Its been my experiance that*most* security guards end end being a liability rather than an asset. I am sure they deter petty crimes, but a power less security guard will not stop a violent criminal.
March 10th, 2007 02:26 AM
I love walking into the great "fast food" chicken restaurant when I am in Nicaragua right past two guys with SMGs...never felt more safe while eating a great chicken breast.
March 11th, 2007 01:55 AM
Cops keep us security-types in business. I don't need a Cop to stop a violent criminal, I'll rely on common sense and training. I'll call you when the threat is over, because in my arena that's when you're needed, to fill out the paperwork.
Originally Posted by SIXTO
Last edited by Bumper; March 11th, 2007 at 06:22 AM.
Reason: Post edited, please refrain from personal attacks.
March 11th, 2007 04:24 AM
JimmyHat...Take A Few Deep Breaths...
Keep in mind that we all have had a multitude of 'life experiences' and approach problems from different perspectives...each of us is certainly entitled to a personal opinion...feel free to strongly disagree, but there is no need to 'jump' those opinions with negative comments (Get a clue...).
Originally Posted by JimmyHat
I would like to think that we are all on the same page here...
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March 11th, 2007 05:30 AM
I'm with retsupt99 as per the above post.
As far as private secutiry is concerned..... Hey, if you are afraid and can afford private security.... spend the money to goto a good firearms school and buy the appropriate firearms. It sucks that they have to deal with San Fran politics, but spend the money you save into donations for someone that ALLOWS for carry and self-defense. Hell, look at DC.... It's going to end up the same way if you deny the fundemental rights. If the founding fathers had to deal with automatic weapons and gangs they would have written the 2nd amendment to include it. Geez... SCOTUS has helped the 1st and 5th amendments through the years.. whats to say the 2nd doesn't deserve an equal opportunity????
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March 11th, 2007 05:58 AM
Am I the only one that choked on my coffee when I read this?!? So there is "fear" in placing one's personal safety in the hands of private security, but apparantly it is perfectly logical to the to place one's PERSONAL safety in the hands of a police officer, who only has anywhere from hundreds to THOUSANDS to "protect" at the same time.
There's also the fear of placing something as important as personal
safety into the hands of poorly paid workers.
Here's a completely wild and crazy idea...why don't we try placing our personal safety in the hands of those who want, need and care about it the most...the PERSON's who want to be safe!! It seemed to work fairly well about 40-50 years ago...
"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it."
- Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC
March 11th, 2007 02:42 PM
Great post! Keep'em coming!!
Some residents will still need us... Who else is going to show them how to use a key card, to open there gate?
If every resident could have a concealed weapon and a AK47 they wouldn't need a security guard.
To be seriouse. There will alwayes be "sheep" who will not have the fortitude to be able to protect themselfs. Why press an overworked, underpayed, and buisy LEO. It just makes sense for some people to "privatize" security, like healthcare, etc.
As for the image of a security officer being a "drowsy rent-a-cop with the crumpled uniform", thats just a a stereotype.
Last edited by gregarat; March 11th, 2007 at 02:47 PM.
March 11th, 2007 06:27 PM
Settle down there killer.
Originally Posted by JimmyHat
Notice the *most* part of my post. I have run across a few capable well trained and experienced security types.
How ever, *most* have not been. They fail to realize their role, and end up in a jam themselves. I deal with guards at hospitals, neighbor hoods, shopping centers and private residences on a regular basis.
It is obvious who is the professional and the hack.
I often become a security guard myself when I contract my services out. I do this often to pay for my toys. I do security details for business, executive and dignitary protection and escort details for high value/ high risk targets for the banking industry. I travel across the country for the last job mentioned, so I have an opportunity to observe all kinds of guards, both from an LEO perspective and a guard myself. I even had the chance to be the BG... a client hired me and some others from my group to breech their own security to expose weak points. I learned the most from doing that than all the times doing the guarding.
I will stand by my statement that [B]*most*/B] are a liability rather than an asset.
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