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Sunday Poll: Support Commissioned Corporate Security Having Arrest Powers?

September 27, 2015 Featured, Missouri, Sunday Poll 3 Comments

Recently the Missouri legislature overrode the veto of 10 bills, allowing them to become law. One,  SCS HB 878, relates to corporate security:

Gives the Public Safety Department authority to commission corporate security advisors. It would deny licensed corporate security advisers arrest powers unless they are commissioned by the department. It grants immunity to the department from lawsuits for commissioning corporate security officers. Nixon’s veto letter argued that the bill would give private security officers police powers including the power of arrest and to search private property. (Neosho Daily News)

So what do you think about this new law?

The poll will close at 8pm, answers are randomized.

— Steve Patterson

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    While I’m always concerned about government overreach (and on the face of it, this does seem “scary”), this seems like its more of a technical clarification than an expansion of powers. As I understand it, a sworn police officer, working off-duty, still has the same arrest and search powers that he has when he (or she) is working on-duty. This would allow the state’s Public Safety Department to certify primarily former officers (who, presumably, are fully “trained”), to exercise the same powers if they are working full time (and not just part time) in corporate security. Yes, abuse is ALWAYS a potential issue, but that is “covered” by both state laws and the fact that every sworn officer is employed by an entity, public and, now, private, that can be held financialy liable if the officer exceeds his or her legal authority. I’d rather have Monsanto or Purina “on the hook” for official misconduct than some podunk government entity like Pagedale, and I sure wouldn’t want to be the focus of a bounty hunter, who has far more “power” than any private security officer would ever have!

    Private security officers already (are required to) receive rudimentary “training” and receive annual licenses. I was “trained” when I worked security at Verizon Wireless (now Hollywood Casino) Amphitheatre and I had the “authority” to detain patrons who were breaking the law. I was also highly supervised, never worked alone and we always took our “detained” patrons to the on-site Maryland Heights Police officers, who would then determine whether the patron would just be ejected from the facility or placed under actual arrest. The same system was in place at the casino where I worked, where the security officers were mostly former officers (from various departments) and were well supervised, never approached a law-breaking patron alone and were backed up by on-site officers from the Missouri Gaming Commission and a quick response from the local jurisdictions. And, in every position, discretion was constantly exercised. Bottom line, you had to be pretty stupid to be placed in custody (although being searched was usually a condition for entering the venue).

    As a private citizen, I would never want to be profiled, treated unfairly, detained with no cause or abused or injured while in custody. There’s a formal system in place to minimize these abuses, and, yes, there are people “enforcing” the laws who either knowingly abuse their power, work for an entity that either encourages or supports their abuse of power or, being human, just have a bad day and screw up. There are also remedies in place to address these abuses. And, as a private citizen, I don’t want to be assaulted, robbed, physically injured or killed by other private citizens, aka “criminals”. The question then boils down to do we want to live and work in secure environments? Or, do we fear the law enforcers to the extent that we we would rather have less “security” because a minority of officers aren’t “playing by the rules”? I’d rather feel safe. I’ma big believer in if you’re not doing anythingwrong, you really don’t have too much to fear, from the “enforcers” . . .

     
    • Adam says:

      But isn’t an off-duty police officer still obligated to uphold her/his oath to serve and protect? A corporate security officer has, presumably, taken no such oath and her/his loyalties lie with her/his employer. That’s a recipe for conflict of interest.

       
      • JZ71 says:

        You’re right, on that – I’m just not sure how the state Department of Public Safety will address this, I’m just assuming that they will / have already done so:

        “The Peace Officer Standards and Training Program (POST) is a regulatory program with responsibility for licensing peace officers, ensuring compliance with peace officer continuing education requirements, and conducting investigations for disciplining the licenses of peace officers as specified by Chapter 590, RSMo. The POST Program also licenses law enforcement basic training centers, basic training instructors, approves law enforcement training curricula, and provides staff support for the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission.”

        http://dps.mo.gov/dir/programs/post/

         

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