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A law enforcement agency is responsible for enforcing the law in a specific region. Many citizens view the prevention and control of crime as a function of government. It is important to consider the fact that law enforcement agencies can be comprised of either the public or private sector. Traditionally, people view the prevention of crime as a function of public law enforcement agencies. Nevertheless, a major effort in terms of crime prevention has been made by the private sector as well. Public and private law enforcement agencies often face conflict due to varying interpretations of their respective roles (Kara, Sunger, & Kapti, 2015). The major areas of conflict between private and public law enforcement agencies include lack of mutual respect, communication, cooperation, perceived corruption, lack of standards, perceived competition, and lack of knowledge about private security.
Lack of mutual respect is one of the most significant issues that raise conflict between private and public law enforcement agencies. It is important to consider that the presence of mutual negative stereotyping is nurturing lack of respect between both departments. Negative stereotyping between these departments is rooted in prejudice, distrust, suspicions, and misinformation. The status differential of public law enforcement agencies often forms negative perspectives of private law enforcement agencies and security persons. Such negative assumptions are crucial to establish a conflict between both departments. Secondly, the lack of communication is another major issue that raises role conflict among both departments (Administration). Lack of communication between private and public law enforcement agencies has a tendency to create false assumptions regarding their status and role. Each department perceived it as a higher status group, which creates uncertainty with law enforcement. After a lack of communication, the third biggest area of conflict includes lack of cooperation. There is a lack of a formal mechanism between both departments to cooperate with each other. Due to the lack of formal mechanism, both private and public law enforcement agencies are having difficulty to understand the role of other departments towards resource protection and loss prevention.
Lack of knowledge about private security is also a major area of conflict between private and public law enforcement agencies. Public law enforcement agencies usually have limited exposure to services of private security, so they have difficulty to accept significant efforts of private law enforcement agencies towards resource protection and loss reduction. Perceived competition in terms of assets protection and loss protection is also a major conflict between private and public law enforcement agencies. Private law enforcement agencies perceive moonlighting of law enforcement to prevent and control loss in private security as unfair competition. Furthermore, the assumption of public law enforcement agency towards private security contributes to lack of standards. Due to the lack of standards, public law enforcement agency considers private security as a non-professional organization. Such assumptions of public law enforcement give rise to conflict between both departments. Lastly, both law enforcement agencies consider each other corrupt, which hinders their cooperation and gives rise to conflict.
The professional standards of private security can be elevated through increased interaction between public and private law enforcement agencies. Public law enforcement agencies considered private security as a non-professional organization due to the lack of interaction, communication, and understanding regarding private security’s role. Increased awareness about the role and responsibilities of private law enforcement agencies can also minimize negative stereotyping. Personal improvements can also be effective to raise the professional standards of private law enforcement agencies. Personal selection standards should be implemented to enhance the effective relationship of private law enforcement agencies with public law enforcement agencies.
Administration, L. E. A. Law Enforcement and Private Security Sources. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/44783NCJRS.pdf
Kara, H. B., Sunger, E., & Kapti, A. (2015). Police stress factors among law enforcement agencies: A comparison study of US and Turkish police. European Scientific Journal, 11(4).
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