August 28, 2007

Here’s Another Development I Consider An Enabler Of…

…the North American Union agenda.

Remember, the “consultants” privileged to attend the closed door SPP (Security & Prosperity Partnership of North America) meetings represent corporate interests by virtue of being the corporate interests (the North American Competitiveness Council, or NACC).

Of late, in my own industry, there has been much activity in certain places: Basically, government law enforcement has been responding to budgetary and manpower considerations by assigning exceedingly more investigative and enforcement responsibility to corporate security departments. In North Carolina, they’re providing police training to private security officers and issuing them full police arrest authority.

In my own “era” of hands-on security work and, later, security supervision, the best we could do was a citizen’s arrest. We would fill out all the police paperwork and when they arrived, we would hand them the entire package, right down to witness statements, polaroids or videotape. They would call in for a case number, swap handcuffs and transport the prisoner. As a casino security shift supervisor, I had open door access to the city attorney and other prosecutors (we had as many professional dealings with the local criminal community as the PD, and the same insights), and often during short conferences I briefed a city, state or federal prosecutor on the details not coverable in a report that is a legal document — conclusions, recommendations, gut feelings, etc. Sometimes, we would discuss the penalties the prosecution would ask for, and my opinion counted.

But we were not cops, we were private sector employees charged with protecting the assets and interests of the company we worked for.

Before and since going into the consulting biz, I’ve attended armloads of classes, courses, seminars and workshops across the security spectrum and read scores of books and reports as they came out, keeping abreast of my industry. Networking has brought me into friendships and exchanges of information with dozens of fellow security professionals.

A British colleague, one of a few colleagues who spent the past Christmas and New Year’s as my house guests, told me back then about the trend in Britain of granting police responsibilities to private security departments and firms, and more recently, in Protection Industry reports, I’ve read about the same trend beginning to take hold here, in parts of the U.S.A.

There are even private contractors building and running prisons!


Almost. If you have lots of time to read a highly informative report re just how big outsourced military and security assets have become on the world stage, read this report.

What will happen over the next few, short years is that both proprietary and contract security forces will evolve into better trained concerns that possess police authority, and we will see commensurate downsizing in public law enforcement agencies.

Basically, the government will largely be saying to businesses and gated community type venues, “police yourselves”, and gradually, law enforcement will become the purview of corporate security people, as will incarceration become a province of the private sector.

When I worked in the casino, we had an instant communications network established between the surveillance departments of all the casinos in town, and all security supervisors shared a radio frequency connected to the network. It was a natural progression as ever-advancing technology afforded us those options, and it was profoundly useful.

Who’s to think that the same sort of arrangement won’t be implemented among the security departments of the various corporations involved? Or the larger contract firms? This would place a hell of a lot of power in the hands of those business concerns.

While I’m a strong advocate of limited government, I think we ought to leave things like law enforcement and incarceration right where they belong — under taxpayer supervision. Putting them in the hands of “corporate interests” just ain’t gonna cut it.

But mark my words, it will happen soon. We will outsource our protective venues.

We will suffer for it, but it will become part & parcel of our existence should we permit the NAU agenda to reach fruition.

Credit where credit is due:

I actually had a bit of trouble composing this post, and it spent considerable time in “save” mode, but then I read a post over at Shoprat’s place that provided insight I needed to better define my point of view.

by @ 6:27 am. Filed under Just Editorializing, North American Union (NAU), Security
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10 Responses to “Here’s Another Development I Consider An Enabler Of…”

  1. Shoprat Says:

    Thanks for the H/T

    If corporate security goes big time then it is only a matter of time before local public security becomes a matter of vigilante justice and balkanization isn’t far from there.

  2. BB-Idaho Says:

    The capability and effecacy of the private sector is, of course, one of the defining divides between right and left. Private sector strengths such as efficiency, innovation and customer-driven production are obvious. Less clear, and a cause of concern for me, is performance of this sector in service provision: prisons (as you note), healthcare & health insurance, facilities for the elderly (and yes, even social security). Even, as you describe, a return to the days of the “Pinkerton Men”. For Idaho’s take on criminals sent to a private prision in Texas, see A problem, or weakness in private sector services are those instances where “customer” is either ill-defined or “captive”: eg, no recognizable compeition. This can be excacerbated by the well-known “strength” of ‘bottom-line-itis’(cheap), re-allocation of profits to executive/shareholder interests, rather than the infrastructure and delivery of poor service and/or return on investment. Regarding private security, we agree, (I think) that could be a slippery slope. Leading to by ad absurbum argument to the hiring of Hessions for US infantry battalions and Chinese-made smart bombs.

  3. Ken Taylor Says:

    One major advantage that your example has in remaining under government scrutiny is that Unions cannot enter the picture. Remember when President Reagan fired the air traffic controllers because they tried to unionize ? Thus preventing a disaster of emmense preportions by averting the strike.

    The same holds true to your articles thoughts. Unions, if enforcement was privitized would move in and soon we would see prison guards threatening a strike to force owners into a corner because of the threatened lack of security. It would become a never ending cycle that would cost a fortune in one way or another.

    I agree give the devil its due and keep it as it is!

  4. Seth Says:

    Shoprat –

    Your post (that I linked to) is outstanding and timely, and the linked article was totally worth the read.

    Yes, I, too foresee a lot of problems once too much authority/ too many responsibilities are transferred from local and federal law enforcement agencies to private security forces.

    These security personnel will be taking their orders from corporations, whose primary concerns are profits and stability in the marketplace, and the more they proliferate and the more power they gain, the more we can look for territorial disputes to ensue.

    The only upside is that this will be liberals’ worst nightmare: “The Korporate Kops from hell”. :-)

  5. Seth Says:

    BB –

    The post you linked to more than proves the point that the warehousing of convicts needs to remain a public function.

    Don’t be too amazed if successful megabucks lawsuits by prisoners against these companies and the states that employ them eventually becomes another cottage industry for trial lawyers. San Francisco’s jails became oppressively overcrowded a few years ago and several prisoners actually sued the county and got big bucks.

    Now, I’m all for hard labor and spartan living conditions for convicts (I mean, they are being punished, and it makes no sense for a prison to be an enjoyable place to spend a few years — “Y’all come back now, y’hear!” or “Catch you on the rebound, Spike!”), but I would wish squalid conditions like those described on no one. This is, after all, America, not Turkey (think Midnight Express).

    Law enforcement also needs to remain under voters’ control, not under that of a panel of CEOs.

    Leading to by ad absurbum argument to the hiring of Hessions for US infantry battalions and Chinese-made smart bombs. LOL!

  6. Seth Says:

    Ken –

    Protective infrastructure such as police and fire departments should remain both under public control and beyond the reach of the unions, much the same as the military does.

    Union leaders no longer represent the workers, they are strictly in it for the membership revenues and could care less what havoc they’d create when they call a police or fire dept strike.

    Over 25 years ago, when I first lived in New Orleans, the police, who belonged, believe it or not, to the Teamsters’ Union, went on strike during Mardi Gras. In fact, one of the union’s chief “consultants” on the cops’ negotiations was Carlos Marcello, who was then the local capo mafioso.

    Unfortunately for them, the police force was so ineffectual and laced with corruption that when the state police and national guard (the latter with unloaded weapons, BTW) were called in to patrol the city the crime rate dropped — a lot more crimes-in- progress were interrupted and arrests made and the result was that the citizens of Nawlins hardly even missed NOPD.

    NOPD’s final mistake was trying to get the NOFD to call a sympathy strike, which that most excellent and dedicated fire dept refused to do.

    The mayor smashed the Teamsters’ hold on the PD and denied promotions to all the officers who had gone on strike.

    In my opinion, these jobs should be taken by folks with a calling to protect their fellow citizens, not out of any kind of profit motive, and they should know going in that the compensation may not meet all their wants and needs.

    On the other side of the coin, it’s up to the voters in a given city to see to it that the local politicians authorize decent pay for those who protect them.

  7. Gayle Says:

    Shoprat said “The Korporate Kops from Hell.” LOL! I like that! :)

    But I don’t like the idea of putting law inforcement into the hands of private corporations. I hope and pray you’re wrong about this, Seth. Please be wrong about it!

  8. Seth Says:

    Gayle –

    This is almost definitely (I say almost because there’s always a chance that our govt will get its head out of there and start thinking about reality) the “wave of the future” for the security industry.

    It’s really screwed up that while a whole bunch of politicians are screaming for the guaranteed quagmire of government managed health care, no one has much to say about the almost inevitable privatization of law enforcement, very possibly because the start of the trend has barely arrived in the U.S. and it will take years to become “noticeable”, as it were.

    To most politicians, “years” means “plenty of time to worry about that later”.

    Look at the way they handled decades of mass illegal immigration, what with having “plenty of time to seriously address it” before it had a significant impact on our economy, allowing it to build up until our country now suffers from the human version of an overwhelming termite infestation…

  9. Donald Douglas Says:

    Hi Seth: Look, thanks for visiting and commenting over on my page. I’d normally respond to your comments on my posts, but my semester started at my college, and teaching’s keeping me busy. I do appreciate your engagment of those lefty loons I get, so keep on coming over now and then.

    I’ll be adding your site to my blogroll when I get the chance. I like your work here!

    Thanks again!

  10. Seth Says:

    Donald –


    Trust me, I know all too well about time constraints, LOL.

    I enjoy visiting your site and don’t mind wrangling with the lefties if they need wrangling with, even though, as someone once said, “arguing with a liberal is like standing in a bucket and trying to pull yourself up by the handle”. :-)