Psst! Private police may be already there.
By 1997, an estimated 20,000 gated communities had been built across the country. Approximately 40% of new homes in California are behind walls. In 1997, estimates of the number of people in gated communities ranged from 4 million in 30,000 communities up to around 8 million, with a ½ million in California alone.
Hot Springs Village (Arkansas) is the largest gated community in the United States with more than 26,000 heavily-wooded acres. HSV is governed by the HSV Property Owners’ Association, a private, tax-exempt home owners association. — Wikipedia
For the wealthy, their neighborhood may already be gated with a private guard in attendance around the clock to screen visitors and control access. You may also have your entire neighborhood under constant video surveillance. At your place of work, you most likely will have uniformed private security at your entrances and parking facilities. You most likely will also have employees who do a number of security and quasi-police services for your company; services above and beyond what public police can or will provide.
I write about this today because I am very concerned about the future of our public police in light of the negative publicity police have received since the early days of Ferguson. If things do not dramatically change in the very near future, police as we know them may cease to exist.
Over the years and since 9/11, private security expenditures have already greatly overshadowed what citizens pay in their municipal taxes. Slowly, but surely, private security is protecting the homes and business of those of means.
In response, citizens who live in poor neighborhoods, lacking the resources or political power to get police to listen to them and be responsive, and change, they cry, in desperation, for community control of police.
To try and get a handle on this, I have listed three of the largest and most powerful security firms in the world. Take a look at the services they provide. And then start thinking about the possibility that a city, or other political jurisdiction, could enlist them to provide the services that particular jurisdiction desires. There would be no conflict as to which laws they may be directed to enforce and those which the community wishes to overlook. Think about it. It may soon come to pass.
G4S describes itself as “the world’s leading global security and outsourcing group,” specializing “in outsourcing of business processes in sectors where security and safety risks are considered a strategic threat.” The British multinational security giant was set up in 2004 when London-based company Securicor amalgamated with Danish business Group 4 Falck. Currently, G4S employs more than 620,000 people, which makes it the third biggest employer in the private sector globally. In 2012 G4S turned over well over $12 billion. The company offers a range of services, including the supply of security personnel, monitoring equipment, response units and secure prisoner transportation. G4S also works with governments overseas to deliver security.