Private Security Essay

1970 words - 8 pages

Private security is an absolute necessity as part of our country’s homeland security. After the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001, the concept of “homeland security” truly came into a whole new focus. Prior to this tragic incident, the abundance of security vulnerabilities that existed in our country were not as well known or as well publicized. Furthermore, it was just assumed and expected that the public sector was quite capable of handling our domestic security needs. This could not have been farther from the truth.

The concept of “homeland security” is a both a broad and highly complex term that encompasses virtually every facet of the American infrastructure on land, in air, ...view middle of the document...

When most people think about private security, terms like ‘rent a cop” might frequently come to mind. Furthermore, Hollywood has helped to solidify these negative characterizations in the public minds by constantly producing movies such as “Paul Blart- Mall Cop” and “Armed and Dangerous.” While these movies might accurately describe a small percentage of the private security force, they do a tremendous disservice to the vast majority who operate daily with the utmost sense of professionalism and pride in their service. Sadly, many Americans will only see the one sided Hollywood view of the industry.
Particularly in this post 9/11 era, the services that private security firms offer have helped to bolster our nation’s defense, and they have proven to be an integral part of filling in the security gaps that public officials and agencies simply do not have the manpower to protect. Private security firms understand the critical role that they play on a daily basis, and for the most part they have done a tremendous job of absorbing and handling the huge burdens that come with ensuring the public’s safety. According to our textbook, private security firms operate in the defense of power plants, oil refineries, financial centers, computer systems, dams, malls, railroad lines, and a multitude of other highly plausible and vulnerable terrorist targets. Dempsey even uses a quote from a former FBI deputy director who says, “The great majority of the critical infrastructure is not protected by sworn officers. You name any industry and you’re going to find private security elements protecting it.” That is quite a statement. Especially coming from someone with the credentials of a former FBI deputy director. More importantly, it shines an even brighter light on just how important private security firms are to protecting and guarding the everyday American way of life.

Busch and Givens penned a wonderful article in support of the private sector being called upon in larger numbers to solidify our homeland security. In their journal article they open the discussion with a powerful quote from the former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. He said, “…I just want to say this about the private sector. In my mind, the government is incapable of responding to its maximum ability without adequate private sector support.” (Busch, 2012) Not only is the former deputy director of the FBI on board with the positives of private security, but the former Department of Homeland Security Secretary is all in as well. Furthermore, Busch and Givens write, “With approximately 85 percent of the nation’s critical infrastructure under private sector control, alliances between government and the private sector are absolutely essential in order to promote our homeland security.” (Busch, 2012) Just let that sink in for one second. 85 percent of our nation’s critical infrastructure is privately owned! That is an absolutely mind blowing number to conceptualize. This further...

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