The Evolution of Private Security
Darryl K. Johnson
1103A August 2011 Term
Professor John Preston
Crime trends and public demand have overwhelmed police agencies and opened the door to private security companies. The evolving nature of society and its institutions have determined the nature and development of private security. The growth of the private security industry is generally perceived as a twentieth-century phenomenon. However, policing by private organizations can be traced back far into history. This is particularly the case with market economies in which competing interest groups influence the growth of private policing in contrast to single party societies, or single order religious or political societies, where competing policing organizations are generally not tolerated. The history of private and public policing is intertwined. In England, it is likely that private policing (rather narrowly defined historically) both preceded and necessitated the introduction of public police.
In medieval England, the king implemented programs wherein brush and other potential concealment were cleared from the roads to protect against robbers. In addition, night watchmen were posted to protect citizens from thieves. Today, people have developed perimeter fences, security patrols and intrusion alarms based on these early measures. As early as the 18th century, society developed security measures to deal with the threats that burdening the populace. During this era, night watches and common security purposes were first funded with tax revenues. Later, Parliament organized security studies and extended the scope of private security force protection. In the United States, private policing in the form of contract services essentially grew out of a public policing, paramilitary model. New York was the first city to establish a police force in 1844; in 1855 Allan Pinkerton, Chicago's...