chapter  1
16 Pages

Introduction to the Private Security Industry and the Investigative Process

Although public perceptions tend to see the justice model as a public function, there is a long history and tradition involving private operatives providing justice services. In fact, most of our national history displays a preference for private justice and police services. Using state, federal, or local officials to provide protection services was a new paradigm commencing in the late nineteenth century. Even with this recognition, life has come full circle since so many once public services are being returned to private control. In courts, parking authorities, public housing projects, federal installations, detective services and traffic control, private sector justice has reemerged. The growth of private sector justice is a phenomenon that manifests unlimited growth. Undoubtedly, a movement toward privatized justice systems and operations is under way. The Hallcrest Report II, the well-regarded qualitative and quantitative study of private security, computes this staggering trend in Figure 1.1.1

At every level, one witnesses this orientation to the private. Even criminal investigative practice is not immune to this change. The industry at large expends nearly $66 billion per annum2 and “plays a major protective role in the Nation’s life. It employs an estimated 1.1 million persons, and total expenditures for its products and services are estimated at $22 billion for 1980. In 1979, federal, state, and local enforcement expenditures were only $14 billion.”3