The Legal Side of Private Security: Working through the Maze

By Leo F. Hannon | Go to book overview

employer, would help pay for the tires if they had been sold, would not press charges, would not call the police, and would not fire the employee. After the employee admitted that he had taken the tires, he was fired and prosecuted.

The question before the court was whether the admissions made by the employee to the employer should be accepted into evidence. The court referred to a well-established general rule affirmed by a Texas statute that a confession of guilt is admissible only when it was freely and voluntarily made without having been induced by the expectation of any promised benefit, or by the fear of any threatened injury or by the exertion of any improper influence. As to the promised benefits aspect, the court indicated the promise must be positive, must be made or sanctioned by a person in authority, and must be of a character likely to influence the defendant to speak untruthfully.

Focusing on the test of whether the person making the promise was a person in authority, it must again be noted that this is not a Miranda test. As far as this court was concerned, an employer can be such a person. In this court's judgment, the employer's inducements created a jury issue on the voluntariness of the statements.

The message is that once all the legal jargon is stripped away, courts are interested in fair play. This underlying concept should help guide actions taken in order to avoid legal pitfalls.


OBSERVATIONS

In sum, private security people and those in law enforcement ply somewhat similar but fundamentally different trades. The law recognizes these differences and assigns legal burdens accordingly. If private security assumes the role of law enforcement, the courts will assign it law enforcement burdens. Private security, then, has to think about such things as probable cause, warrants, Miranda, entrapment, deprivation of civil rights, and so on. Recognizing and understanding the differences between private security and law enforcement is a critical step in making sound security decisions that relate to the business of enforcing the rules and regulations of private employers, not the criminal law.


NOTES
1.
The Federalist Papers, No. 49 ( J. Madison), Nos. 22 & 84 ( A. Hamilton); Introduction to American Government, Ogg & Ray ( 1945).
2.
Introduction to American Government, supra, at 136.
3.
Constitutional Law, 16A Am. Jur. 2d Sec. 453-457.
4.
Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 ( 1961).
5.
Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 129 ( 1978).

-15-

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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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