The Legal Side of Private Security: Working through the Maze

By Leo F. Hannon | Go to book overview

by law enforcement agencies and certainly the media and entertainment industry have highlighted the criminal law. Unfortunately, this identification with law enforcement is at the heart of the confusion in the private security sector.


ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT

Despite the similarities, private security and law enforcement are geared to completely separate legal premises. First, law enforcement is an a of the government, and as the name indicates, has a mission of enforcing the criminal laws of the government. While private security might be controlled to some extent by government regulations, its role as an agent of a private party is to protect private property and enforce the rules and regulations that have been created by that private party. For example, police will not be interested if an employee takes beer into a chemical plant because it is not against the law. But plant security will be interested because it is against the plant rules.

It is worthwhile to pursue these distinctions in some detail in order to better understand the close attention law enforcement has received from the courts. To properly set the scene it is necessary to take a brief refresher course in American history.

The founding fathers made it clear that the people were the only legitimate source of power and the people create, control, and direct the government. The fundamental purposes of government include establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, and promoting the general welfare--in short, providing for the interests of the people. Of course, nothing is said about making a profit.

While some felt it would be redundant to add a Bill of Rights to the Constitution, most were still so fearful of government excesses that they insisted that the first ten amendments be added to assure the protections they felt were necessary. The knock on the door in the middle of the night was still on their minds. 1

This paramount interest in protecting the rights of the people, however, did not exist in a vacuum. The government still had to carry out its mission of providing for the general welfare, and it could not do so without having some degree of authority. It has been said that, "In the entire realm of public affairs, there is no more basic or difficult problem than that of maintaining a proper balance between authority and liberty." 2

This balancing of liberty and authority is engaged in at all levels of government--federal, state, and local--and is best understood by following developments in the federal Bill of Rights. While each state has its own constitution, most of the protections set out in the first ten amendments have been selectively incorporated into state law by federal court action. The vehicle for incorporation has been the fourteenth amendment.

-2-

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The Legal Side of Private Security: Working through the Maze
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction xi
  • 1 - Private Security and Law Enforcement 1
  • Notes 15
  • 2 - A View of the Maze of Laws That Impact Private Security 17
  • Notes 34
  • 3 - Security-Related Matters in Collective Bargaining 37
  • Notes 54
  • 4 - Labor-Related Demonstrations, Picketing, and Handbilling 57
  • Notes 79
  • 5 - Arbitration 81
  • Notes 102
  • 6 - The Employment World Outside of the National Labor Relations Act and Arbitration 105
  • 7 - Liability for Assaults 139
  • 8 - Individual Rights of Non-Employees and Protection of Property and Business Interests 161
  • Notes 184
  • 9 - Protecting Intangible Property 187
  • Notes 209
  • 10 - The Special Nature of Some Security Functions 213
  • Notes 223
  • Conclusion 225
  • Bibliography 229
  • Index 231
  • About the Author 237
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