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History of Security Essay Sample

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History of Security Essay Sample

Private security is a rapidly growing and changing field. Much has changed since its beginnings and much will continue to change in the coming years because public law enforcement will be unable to meet demands of a growing society. “Private security is not a new concept. Security forces existed long before a paid police force. Private security has a long history starting in medieval times when knights protected lords and ladies. In the colonies all able-bodies men were to stand a citizen’s night watch to protect the community from invasion and fire. ADT was formed in 1874. It is still today one of the largest alarm companies in the country. Washington Brink formed Brinks armored car service in 1891. In 1895, Allen Pinkerton was the first law enforcement officer hired to protect interests of the railroads. It was the private sector that the first SWAT unit was formed in 1899. Rangers would arrive in a special baggage car that carried eight men and horses. When a train robbery would occur these rangers would chase robbers on horseback. William Burns founded his international detective agency in 1909” (“History of Security,2013). Private security in this country has a distinguished past.

Since the US has adopted the Metropolitan Police Act of 1892 was developed in England and organized the first police system. The American System of Policing was designed based off the British policing system. Many of our laws and regulations are based on their structure. The Americans were always at risk with foreign enemies, brother and sister colonies, and Native Americans. They had no protection but themselves. By the 17th century, the colonies started replicating the law enforcement system of the English model. American policing attempted to control crime and disorder in both urban and frontier environments. The experience was often brutal and corrupt. During the 18th period is when Americans organized professional private security organizations to have a positive impact on crime and disorder. The modern U.S private security industry origins come from Allan Pinkerton. “In the 1850s Allan Pinkerton a former Chicago police detective created the Pinkerton Agency, his own private security agency.

Although primary employment for the Pinkerton Agency was the booming railroads crisscrossing the county, his security forces even branched out into espionage during the Civil War, hired by President Abraham Lincoln” (History of Security,2013). Shortly after, other security firms were created for example, Wells Fargo, Brinks, and ADT. During the Great Depression private security further expanded during the Cold war. “President Roosevelt passed an executive order giving the US War Department mandate to procure and train private security to guard against any threat to U.S. industry. By the end of the war, private security patrolled and protected more than ten thousand factories in the nation. From the war, private sector companies quickly adopted methods to protect themselves from theft due to the Cold War Espionage” (History of Security, 2013). “In 1954, George Wackenhut, a retired FBI agent, formed the Wackenhut Corporation, an enterprise that became another one of the largest private security companies in the United States” (pg. 9 Ortmeier, 2013). There were many private security agencies starting to form in that era but despite improvements in the quality and quantity of police services, crime increased between 1968 and the early 1970’s. In 1976, the Task Force Report on Private Security was published.

“The task force through its report, recommended that private sector be encouraged to improve the nature and quality of security services and complement the law enforcement community in its efforts to fight crime” (pg.10 Ortmeier,2013). Over time these practices have continued to evolve over the years and have increased the spectrum of the security industry. Since 9/11, private security as grown tremendously. After the terrible events that took place that day, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was created by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. “The primary mission of the DHS is to consolidate and better coordinate national efforts to combat terrorism and protect the United States against other threats to the homeland” (pg.12 Ortmeier,2013). Private security has a great significance in today’s society. Private security provides the most protective service to the United States.

Private security personnel have a big responsibility when protecting activities beyond which cannot be conducted by police agencies. The government is dependent on private security. If private security wasn’t created our society would be vulnerable for many threats from terrorist but not only from terrorist but from one another. Top secret information would be leaked and it would cause so much chaos if not protected by responsible individuals. I believe that we as a society put more of our trust in private security than public law enforcement. Public law enforcement doesn’t have the same capabilities as private security so that’s why our society trusts them more. Sooner or later public law is going to have the same capabilities as private security with technology increasing. Private security is the forefront of security today.


History of Security (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/cjrp/history.html The History of Private Security (n.d.) Retrieved from http://dyonder.hubpages.com/hub/The-History-of-Private-Security Ortmeier, P.J. (2013) Introduction to Security:Operations and management. Fourth Edition. Pearson.

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