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View Full Version : Armed private guards to patrol where 4 OPD were slain


masameet
04-21-2009, 12:45 AM
What do you guys think of the Oakland City Council's decision to hire a private security agency to walk the beat where 4 OPD officers were killed?

The private guards will be armed.

Excerpted from The Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124027127337237011.html#articleTabs%3Darticle):
Facing pressure to crack down on crime amid a record budget deficit, Oakland is joining other U.S. cities that are turning over more law-enforcement duties to private armed guards.

The City Council recently voted to hire International Services Inc., a private security agency, to patrol crime-plagued districts. While a few Oakland retail districts previously have pooled cash to pay for unarmed security services, using public funds to pay for private armed guards would mark a first for the city.

Hiring private guards is less expensive than hiring new officers. Oakland -- facing a record $80 million budget shortfall -- spends about 65% of its budget for police and fire services, including about $250,000 annually, including benefits and salary, on each police officer.

In contrast, for about $200,000 a year the city can contract to hire four private guards to patrol the troubled East Oakland district where four on-duty police officers were killed in March. And the company, not the city, is responsible for insurance for the guards.

The WSJ story says where private armed guards were used in other municipal areas, the crime rate went down significantly.

On an interesting note the LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-fraud16-2009apr16,0,6463805.story) reported that the top two men who run/own this armed private security company, including one who is a reserve deputy with LASD, were arrested and jailed last week for not paying $9.5 million in workers' compensation insurance premiums for their 1500 employees. A third executive is being sought. If convicted, these men face up to 14 years in state prison.

If part of the reason that the Oakland City Council hired this company was because it would be paying into SCIF, it seems somebody didn't do the necessary vetting. Or at least read any recent news stories.

Joe
04-21-2009, 1:23 AM
Or just issue CCW permits to everyone and we'll protect ourselves. And spend the 200k dollars + lots more from permit revenues on something else.

masameet
04-21-2009, 2:01 AM
But most people don't own guns. Most people don't want to get involved.

For instance the afternoon of the vigil for the 4 OPD officers, I visited the area. Directly across the street from where Sgt. Dunakin and Officer Hege were shot is a small store, and I talked briefly to the man and woman who run the store. They were sitting outside on metal folding chairs, enjoying the warm day in the shade. And the time was about four hours later than when the officers were murdered just days before. To my question, the woman said, We didn't see anything. The man said, As soon as I heard the shots, I locked the front door. He didn't mention calling 911 as he locked the glass front door. I doubt that he did anything but turn away and hide.

One man did come to the aid of the downed officers. He gave Officer Hege CPR and thus helped to ensure that his organs would be donated. AFAIK the man was not armed.

flatline
04-21-2009, 12:23 PM
OPD is actually creating a Foot Patrol Beat on the Macarthur Corridor between 74th and the san leandro border.

Dont trust everything you read, I have insider info =)

Saigon1965
04-21-2009, 1:26 PM
I am all for foot patrol thru certain areas of cities - You'll see more and get to talk more -

OPD is actually creating a Foot Patrol Beat on the Macarthur Corridor between 74th and the san leandro border.

Dont trust everything you read, I have insider info =)

masameet
04-21-2009, 2:14 PM
OPD is actually creating a Foot Patrol Beat on the Macarthur Corridor between 74th and the san leandro border.

Dont trust everything you read, I have insider info =)


Yeah, the WSJ mentioned OPD's possible foot patrol. So it's a go?

When I read the story, I conjured up that Akira Kurosawa/Toshirô Mifune movie, "Yojimbo," about the hired samurai battling bad guys. Wondered if an armed private guard would need to prove he's worthy of his handgun. And how LEOs thought about the potential of their own city undermining them by bringing in hired guns.

tyrist
04-21-2009, 2:21 PM
I have had to deal with these type of security guards before. In my experience they are out of control. You pay a bunch of guys 10 dollars an hour to patrol the streets with limited training and see what type of candidates you get. I have wanted to arrest them before for some of the crap they have pulled but was blocked by the powers that be. I believe it can work but I don't think it would end up saving much money.

Saigon1965
04-21-2009, 2:26 PM
Does anyone know if SF still uses those neighborhood patrols anymore? Awhile back the businesses were ponying up money to pay these guys to patrol in some of the bus. district - I forgot what they were called though - Patrol sepcials I think -

CavTrooper
04-21-2009, 3:49 PM
OPD is actually creating a Foot Patrol Beat on the Macarthur Corridor between 74th and the san leandro border.

Dont trust everything you read, I have insider info =)

Good stuff!

Need to go old school, billy club and a whistle, walking the beat!

CavTrooper
04-21-2009, 3:51 PM
I have had to deal with these type of security guards before. In my experience they are out of control. You pay a bunch of guys 10 dollars an hour to patrol the streets with limited training and see what type of candidates you get.

Most of those fellas are in the application process for LE arent they?

Ron-Solo
04-21-2009, 4:06 PM
Most of those fellas are in the application process for LE arent they?

This same company fills in at some of the LA County courts when we can fill our Sheriff's Security vacancies. 99% of them are MORONS. We have one guy we can't get rid of that has AD'd at two different courthouses in the locker room. Some barely speak English.

They can fill out the applicatins all they want, that doesn't mean they have a chance in hell of getting hired by ANYONE. It's hard to write in those little boxes with a magic marker or spray can. we had one show up carrying a baton and was recognized by a deputy as an active member of a local gang, on felony probation, with weapons restrictions. At least he didn't have a gun on him.

Oakland will eventually pay out a HUGE lawsuit from action taken by their cheaper solution. It will be cheaper in the long run to give OPD Officers a big *** raise in pay.

strangerdude
04-21-2009, 4:08 PM
This same company fills in at some of the LA County courts when we can fill our Sheriff's Security vacancies. 99% of them are MORONS.

I am no moron dude! In fact many deputies I have met at the courts have surprised me by the lack of professionalism.

2ATom
04-21-2009, 4:11 PM
Most of those fellas are in the application process for LE arent they?

it seems like LEO's think they are something special. Basically, if you have a clean record, bingo, your hired. Most officers could not make it in the competitive workforce due to lack of education and motivation. On the other hand, security guards usually fall into 2 categories: 1) ex-cops 2) wannabe cops

Now let the security officer discharge his/her weapon and watch the LEO's flip out:eek:

strangerdude
04-21-2009, 4:15 PM
On the other hand, security guards usually fall into 2 categories: 1) ex-cops 2) wannabe cops

Now let the security officer discharge his/her weapon and watch the LEO's flip out:eek:

Your wrong, there may be many of those in the security biz but it usually falls under categories like this.

1.ex-cops and currently employed cops working on his/her off day
2. Wannabe cop
3. Currently in school, which I am doing and do not want to be a cop
4. Someone who just needs a job to support themselves and or their family
5. Second job
* the majority is 3 and 4 then 2

don't be so quick to judge

masameet
04-22-2009, 1:36 AM
To the three LEOs who posted in this thread, Thanks for the additional insights!

Still I guess we'll have to wait and see if the private armed guards act as crime deterrents once they walk the beat. And that's if they ever do walk the beat. Plus I bet since they'll basically be under a gigantic magnifying glass, the chosen few non-LEOs will not be morons or lacking in English skills. But I tend to be an optimistic guesser anyway.

MrSigmaDOT40
04-22-2009, 2:42 AM
If OPD walks the beat in between 74th/Mac and the City of San Leandro it will make a major difference " IF " they actually talk to people in the area and get to know them. Yes there will be a ton of Anti-Police feelings around but if those Officers are professional and helpful the people will come around. All they have to do is have small talk with the people every now and then and get to know them. Right now people don't want to have any kind of conversation with police because it usually means your being probed for something, like trying to get you to incriminate yourself or somebody else. Just prove to them that you are NOT out to "get them" every time they see you.

If they go in there with the US vs Them Attitude and start busting and searching anybody who so much as Jay Walks, relations will continue to sink and crime will continue to thrive. I have always said the police need to get out of the cars and get to know and be known like neighbors/extended family.

BigDogatPlay
04-22-2009, 7:09 AM
Does anyone know if SF still uses those neighborhood patrols anymore? Awhile back the businesses were ponying up money to pay these guys to patrol in some of the bus. district - I forgot what they were called though - Patrol sepcials I think -

Patrol Specials... yes, they are still out there. Here is one example. http://sfpatrolspecpolice.com/SFPatrolSpecialPolice-mission.html

The Patrol Specials have peace officer authority while on duty and have to meet POST and department training standards.

homerm14
04-22-2009, 10:13 AM
it seems like LEO's think they are something special. Basically, if you have a clean record, bingo, your hired. Most officers could not make it in the competitive workforce due to lack of education and motivation. On the other hand, security guards usually fall into 2 categories: 1) ex-cops 2) wannabe cops

Now let the security officer discharge his/her weapon and watch the LEO's flip out:eek:

Well you are right on one part. I do think I and all of my brother and sister officers are something special. As for as the rest of your post, really? Are you a background investigator for a police department? Could not make it in the competitive work force? Lack of education and motivation? Ex-cops, and wannabe cops? Ignorance is bliss is'nt it?

trendar5
04-22-2009, 10:34 AM
Right on, homerm14. Besides, this thread if for LEO's, and people who HAVE A QUESTION for an LEO. 2ATOM, what is your question? Could it be how to correctly use "your" and "you're?"

haodoken
04-22-2009, 3:13 PM
it seems like LEO's think they are something special. Basically, if you have a clean record, bingo, your hired. Most officers could not make it in the competitive workforce due to lack of education and motivation. On the other hand, security guards usually fall into 2 categories: 1) ex-cops 2) wannabe cops

Now let the security officer discharge his/her weapon and watch the LEO's flip out:eek:

Wrong section to air your anti-LEO beliefs. Please go to the right section to air your sentiments towards LEOs.

haodoken
04-22-2009, 3:14 PM
Most of those fellas are in the application process for LE arent they?

Wrong section to air your anti-LEO beliefs. Please go to the right section to air your sentiments towards LEOs.

Saigon1965
04-22-2009, 3:28 PM
How effective are they ?

Patrol Specials... yes, they are still out there. Here is one example. http://sfpatrolspecpolice.com/SFPatrolSpecialPolice-mission.html

The Patrol Specials have peace officer authority while on duty and have to meet POST and department training standards.

homerm14
04-22-2009, 3:40 PM
How effective are they ?

Most of the ones I work with are very effective. They are a good visible deterrent and have a radio on the same channel as patrol. Radio contact is much quicker than 911.

Saigon1965
04-22-2009, 3:45 PM
That's what I figured - Overall good for the district -

Awhile back working in Oakland - We hired off duty Oakland Housing Authority to do security - It was nice they had constant contact with headquarters and on duty officers -

Most of the ones I work with are very effective. They are a good visible deterrent and have a radio on the same channel as patrol. Radio contact is much quicker than 911.

CaliTheKid
04-22-2009, 6:48 PM
Not surprised they closed their doors and locked them. Only person I know I can count on to stop and help me when the cards are down is another LEO.

I am sure there are also some armed citizens who would as well.

Ron-Solo
04-23-2009, 9:58 AM
I am no moron dude! In fact many deputies I have met at the courts have surprised me by the lack of professionalism.

Looks like you might be the other 1% !

BigDogatPlay
04-23-2009, 9:49 PM
Most of the ones I work with are very effective. They are a good visible deterrent and have a radio on the same channel as patrol. Radio contact is much quicker than 911.

I've known several and they were squared away.

I've known some SFPD guys who thought the specials were worthless, deriding them as worse than private security. I've heard that some of the specials have been worthless, but you get that in every business.

But the bottom line is that they are more eyes and ears on the street in uniform, they provide a good deterrent where they work, they don't really cost the city anything once they are backgorunded and sworn in and they have the entire SFPD to come back them up if the SHTF for them.

Pretty good gig if you can get it.

Z ME FLY
04-25-2009, 3:42 AM
Funny thing, I saw some armed guards around the downtown oakland area near the Whole Foods. Weird because at first I thought it was LEO then I looked closer at the uni and they were a security guard. I thought it was strange but i guess now it makes a bit more sense.

Stormfeather
04-25-2009, 6:55 AM
Now see, i had mentioned this Neighborhood security thing, and somebody thought I was talking about the movie "Kuffs"! I knew I had read somewhere that there was private security doing police actions/patrols in neighborhoods where they was hired to do it. I will have to research that and see where/who told me I was off my rocker!
As for the Oaklands idea of doing this, I hope it works, but maybe they should have had officers on foot anyways a long time ago. Ive always been a proponent for foot patrols. Not only does it get an officer out there on the street, but they get to interact with all the population of an area, not just the victims/perpetrators.

matrix056
04-28-2009, 9:35 PM
I have a better idea than hiring security guards, more police, etc. How about we pull OPD out and let these savages kill each other, just let Oakland burn to the ground. Not to mention a one week warning for the decent people in town......

gunrun45
04-29-2009, 6:39 PM
Patrol Specials... yes, they are still out there. Here is one example. http://sfpatrolspecpolice.com/SFPatrolSpecialPolice-mission.html

The Patrol Specials have peace officer authority while on duty and have to meet POST and department training standards.

They are NOT private patrol type security guards operating under BSIS (not POST) charter in CA. These are two VERY different systems in CA. BSIS operates under teh department of consumer afairs... The SF folks are a branch of the SF police department, hence their SWORN status while on duty.

Private patrol operators / security guards main purpose is to OBSERVE AND REPORT not PROTECT AND SERVE. This means that the non-sworn security guys will not have the power to make arests outside what normal folks can. No power to search, detain, etc... and no access to CLETS to run people...

Oakland is going to screw themselves in the end by hiring people that literally BY LAW can't do the job they are hired for.

BigDogatPlay
04-29-2009, 10:00 PM
I wasn't trying to insinuate that the patrol specials are security guards. They provide similar services in some respects, but they are, as we both noted, peace officers on duty.

I don't think Oakland is expecting these security guards to be doing law enforcement. They can certainly grant them the authority to write parking tickets, tow cars and such. Non sworns do that all over the state. But I think their main role is envisioned to simply be a visual deterrent. They can certainly provide a form of service and their presence, assuming they recruit sharp people and not doofi, can offer some measure of protection to the area.

To PROTECT AND SERVE, as you put it, is a motto. I think law enforcement in this state stopped being about that a long time ago. Remember that the police are under no legal obligation to protect you, and when the service consists of "fill out an online report and we'll file it".... well, I am a bit cynical.