Private Security vs. Police Law Enforcement

There’s police law enforcement and there’s private security. What should you understand about the two?

Private Security

Security Guards vs Police Officers

Here’s something interesting: private security officers have more authority than police law enforcement officers when they’re patrolling the private property they’re contracted to protect. In essence, private security is representing the property owner. Police represent their municipality/government and because they’re connected to the government, they have to follow several guidelines set forth by the Constitution.

Speaking of the Constitution, law enforcement officers cannot stop anyone to ask “Do you live on this property?” or “What are you doing on this property?” Doing so would be a violation of the person’s Constitutional rights. They’re only allowed to speak to someone on private property if they have a reasonable suspicion that there’s a crime involved. Private security can interact with anyone about anything on private property.

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement officers typically work in what’s known as the “criminal realm.” They’re more likely to deal with crime than civil matters. Private security, on the other hand, typically deals with civil matters, such as property owner rights, lease agreements, etc. Law enforcement officers have to be strict and sensitive to any legal ramifications their actions might entail. They’re going to avoid anything that gets them entangled in legal issues and/or civil suits. 

Finally, many people wonder this: “Can private security arrest people?” Yes. They can arrest for any City, County, State, or Federal law violation in their presence, just like police can.

C.O.P. Security of Rochester, NY, offers customer focused private security guards for a number of venues and events, including businesses, schools, government offices, residential areas and more. For more info, please call C.O.P. Security at 585-750-5608 or email

Written by barton_secure

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