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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Pros And Cons Of Hiring Police Officers - 2035 words
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.. s necessarily become those of private citizens. The Court asked whether the officers were 'acting in 'vindication of public right and justice' or were they merely performing acts of service to their private employer?' In Kurtz, the court ruled that the officers who were working as security guards at a ballroom were acting in their official capacity when they broke up a disturbance. A similar test was developed in State v. Wilen.
In State v. Wilen, 4 Neb. App. 132, 539 N.W.2d 650 (Neb.App. 1995), the Court examined (1) the specific nature, extent, and circumstances of the secondary employment; (2) the manner in which such secondary employment is regarded by the employer and employee; and (3) the nature of the acts the peace officer
. . is performing at the time in question. The Court used these two tests in White v Revco.In White v. Revco Disc.
Drug Ctr., Inc.,37 S.W.3d 885 (Tenn. App. 2001), the defendant Boone is a police officer for the City of Knoxville, and works off duty as a security guard for a Revco drug store. On May 4, 1997, Woodfin entered the Revco store and allegedly caused a disturbance. At the time of the disturbance, Boone was working off duty as a security officer at the store and issued Woodfin a citation for disorderly conduct, and warned him to stay out of the store.On June 4, 1997, the store manager, James Lavin, informed Boone while working off-duty again at the store that the Woodfin had returned to the store.
It is alleged that while under the direction and control of Revco and within the scope of his employment there, Boone checked with the Knoxville Police Department and learned that Woodfin did not report to jail for booking on May 19, 1997, as ordered under the citation issued by Boone. As a result of his failure to appear, a bench warrant had been issued for Woodfin's arrest. Lavin ordered Boone to go to the Woodfin's apartment and serve the warrant to prevent Woodfin from ever returning to Revco and to punish Woodfin for coming back to the store. With several other police officers to assist him in arresting Woodfin, they went to his apartment. Boone and the other officers demanded Woodfin to come out of his apartment. He refused and told Boone and the other officers that he would shoot them if they entered his apartment. He closed and locked the door to his apartment.Boone and the other officers contacted the landlord, to get a key so that they could gain access to the apartment.
Prior to the arrival of the key, Boone was called back to Revco to issue a citation to a shoplifter. Boone later returned to the apartment where he was given the key. Boone unlocked and opened the back door to the apartment. Once inside, Boone and the officers realized that Woodfin had locked himself in the bathroom. The officers ordered him out of the bathroom, but he refused and told them that he had a shotgun. Officer Maxwell, a defendant in the case, kicked the bathroom door open and fired at Woodfin, killing him.Plaintiffs allege that Boone used 'excessive force, unlawful battery, and assisted in causing the wrongful death of Woodfin.' They assert that Revco is liable as the employer of Boone under the doctrine of respondeat superior. The Court applied the test used in Kurtz and Wilen.
The Court stated that although Revco initiated the citation, Woodfin's failure to appear in court on the charge resulted in the issuance of a bench warrant. Service of a warrant is certainly within the scope of a law enforcement officer's authority. Serving the warrant on Woodfin was in 'vindication of public right and justice' and not an act of service to the private employer, in this case Revco. The court did decide that private employers may be held vicariously liable for the acts of an off-duty police officer in these three circumstances: * If the officer's action was within the scope of private employment,* If the action was outside the scope of private employment but was taken at the employer's direction and was the proximate cause of the harm, or* If the action was taken with the consent of the private employer and was intended to benefit the employer (Scarlett 2001).The Court dismissed the suit. These cases and precedents are important for private employers and police officers to know.
It is a fine balancing act between working within the scope of the private employer and that of a peace officer. In the Revco case, I think it was unnecessary and over the top for the manager to pull the officer from the store and order the officer to execute the warrant on Woodfin. Revco is fortunate that the Court denied the claim under the doctrine of respondeat superior. Cooler heads should have prevailed and manager should have requested the officer try to serve the warrant the next time his was working for the Department, thereby removing all liability from Revco's. Another disadvantage of hiring police officers to work in the private sector is police officer mentality.
POLICE OFFICER MENALILTY Police officers are trained to deal with people in high stress situations. They are not trained in the police academy that the customer is always right. For the most part, a police officer's world is black and white. If you did the crime, you are going to do the time. In the world of business and customer service, the customer is always right.
If there is any doubt about whether the customer stole something, left it go. It is much better to lose a $25 pair of sunglasses, then it would to pay the cost of defending company in a wrongful detention lawsuit, as in Groom v Safeway. The bad publicity that would be generated from the lawsuit certainly does not warrant taking a chance of reclaiming a $25 pair of sunglasses. The sometimes aggressive nature of law enforcement does not carry over well into the private sector. The last thing a retail owner want to see is a person being handcuffed and walked though the store.
Its can be unnerving to customers (Eiserer, 2001). Police officer's have a prosecutorial mentality. If you break the law you go to jail. Private security guards abide by the wishes of the employer, who may or may not seek prosecution. An incident at an Eddie Bauer store highlights the difference between law enforcement and retail.
In the 1995, Eddie Bauer was holding a warehouse sale and had hired off-duty police officers for traffic control and to discourage shoplifters and armed robbers. Police officers were checking customer receipts as shoppers left the warehouse. The officers believed a teenager leaving the store had stolen a shirt he was wearing. The youth tried to tell them he had purchased it the day before at the sale. The officers made him leave the shirt behind and told him to retrieve the receipt (Eiserer, 2001). The fall out for Eddie Bauer from this incident could be significant.
Lawsuits and bad public relations are not worth the cost of the shirt. This highlights the difference in the mindset of retailers and police officers. While that type of action may be appropriate in the law enforcement arena, it is certainly a practice the retailers would not endorse. Despite the difference, some retailers have written polices that require only the hiring off-duty police. Dillard's is one of those stores.
They have had a long-standing policy requiring the hiring of off-duty police. Dillard's prefers off-duty police to help curtail the $200 million annual loss from shoplifting thefts (Eiserer, 2001). Reducing the cost of litigation stemming from false arrest and detentions was a main factor in the establishment of the policy. Dillard's says they are committed to the safety of its customers and staff. This policy has not been without controversy. Since 1994, five people have died from contractions with police hired to work security at Dillard's.
There have been numerous lawsuits filed against Dillard's claiming the company targets minorities. A charge the company strongly denies. Dillard's states the incidents of loss of life or injury are rare and tragic, critics do not take into account the countless incidents where officers have protected innocent people and saved lives (Eiserer, 2001). Other companies take a different approach. May Co, the parent company of Lord & Taylor and Foley's, only hires unarmed civilian security personnel.
Sears has hired police officers to work part time in the asset protection program. They are not in uniform and unarmed. Sears states they are not hired because of their capacity as a police officer. I disagree. The main reason they are hired is because of their training, experience, and qualifications as a police officer.
If they were plumbers, they most likely would not get the job. Also, if an incident were to occur in the store, the officers are bound by department policy and/or state law to intervene as a law enforcement officer. The moment the officer responds to the incident he is no longer is employed by Sears. Sears is trying to have the best of both worlds.CONCLUSION There are many positive reasons to hire police officers to work private security jobs. Private business owners need to be aware of the possible pitfalls that come with hiring an off-duty police officer. I think there is little question about the value police officers carry while working in a private capacity. Some companies are so convinced of the value of off- duty police that they have instituted polices that require only hiring of police officers.
In today's society, where authority is not always respected, security guards just do not have the presence needed to deter and prevent. Business owners that prefer to have a security officer who has had hundreds of hours of training, experience in conflict resolution, the ability to enforce laws, and invoke the power of arrest will look to hire police officers rather than security guards. Even those security guards who are armed do not project the same presence and deterrence factor as a peace officer. But business owners need to aware of the fact they can be held liable in certain situations. And just because you are hiring a police officer does not mean that there should not be in store training in how to deal with customers and expectation in the retail world.
There has been case law passed down to determine at what point an officer ceases to be employed by a private company and reverts back to law enforcement powers. If the officer is enforcing company policy or under the direction of the company's authority, then the company may be liable. But if an officer is performing a function that is within the scope his law enforcement duties the company will mostly likely not be held liable. The courts look at if the act was in 'vindication of public right and justice' or an act of service to the private employer. In today's litigious society, customers and suspects, and their families will be quick to sue the officer, the private company, the Department.
Knowing the balance test, State v Kuntz and State v Welin, and training in retail service will greatly reduce the risk and opportunity to be sued. REFERENCESBeaver, D. When police walk the security beat. Retrieved November 14th, 2004, from http://www.amguard.com/featured article.htmBrooks, B. Off duty police patrol shops along US 78. Gwinnett Daily Post Online Edition.
Retrieved on November 14, 2004, from http://www.gwinnettdailyonline/GDP/archive/article 78D9E0F872E44EBB9F88Eiserer, T. (2001 October 28). Retailers face criticism over use of off duty police officers for security. Forth Worth Star - Telegram. Malcolm, A. (1989, February 26).
When private employers hire public police. New York Times, p. 1O'Leary, C. (1985, December 1). Minyard insisting on off duty police for security. Supermarket News, v.
46 n. 30 p. 18Peck, D. (1999, October). When police walk the security beat. Security Magazine, v.
43 i. 10 p. 38Scarlett, T. (2001, April). Private employees of off duty police may be liable in Tennessee. Trial, v.
37 i. 4 p. 32Spain, N. (2002 October) Debate over using off duty police: Which argument rings true for you? Security Management, v. 37 n. 2 p.
65Tolchin, M. (1985, December 1). Off duty officers doubling as private guards, but the system draws criticism. New York Times, v. 135 p. 41.
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