Drew Himmelstein shared a post at Belmont-CA-Patch.com a few days ago titled, “Is it a Good Idea for Neighborhoods to Hire Private Security?”
The simple answer? Yes.
In part, the article says:
Faced with a rise in armed robberies and the frustrations of relying on a notoriously beleaguered police department, neighbors in several Oakland communities have recently used crowdfunding websites to raise money for private security patrols.
Supporters of hiring rent-a-cops say they are a good value; with 226 households paying around $80, one Rockridge neighborhood can pay a private security company for four months of 12-hour patrols on weekdays. Proponents are quick to note that the security guards will be unarmed and unable to make arrests. The idea is that simply having more alert eyes on the streets will deter criminals looking for a pedestrian to rob or a house to burgle.
Those who have decided to hire private security rather than relying on police have taken a huge step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the flaw in the plan is that the private security guards are unarmed, as they will not have the tools available to actually protect those in the community from the threat faced – armed robberies. It is reasonable to assume that without the tools available to provide protection, the private security guards plan of action would be to simply call the police. Nonetheless, it is good to see people realizing that those they pay for supposed protection are, in most cases, not actually there to protect them.