America's growing gangs of armed, arrest-making, untrained rent-a-cops



This is bad. Even legitimate police get antsy when a civilian hesitates to comply with a barked order. When citizens have to take a moment to evaluate the situation in order to determine whether they are being stopped by a real police officer with a legitimate motivation or a fauxlice officer who is just there to shake them down for whatever cash they have on hand, it’s just going to make things worse.

Not that we don’t have this exact problem today, but at least we have the luxury now of pretending that everyone in a police uniform has at least been trained to serve and protect.


As long as they’re throwing people into private jails, I’m fine with this.


Are there any private judges? That would certainly streamline everything.


Coming soon to a neighborhood near you…


Too many levels…straight to recycling…

The Stallone version of Dredd? For shame.


Yeah, c’mon!


Related to problems like: the growing tendency for US prisons to be turned over to private corporations. Because, you know, you can trust corporations running things on a profit. As the US increased laws to protect consumers & workers, corporations increased cost cutting measures to move more industry overseas where those protective laws have no effect.

And related to the problem of cops becoming military.

Rome II is a pretty good simulator game: when you increase your resources in expanding your empire through foreign wars, the effect on the home country tends to mean higher taxes and other negatives which cause the home people to rebel.

Zimmerman case, Trayvon Martin case… you have a guy operating as if he is a cop, when he is not. The BKD killer wasn’t a security guard, but did operate as someone who drove about and regulated such things as seeing how people cut their lawn. Being a sociopathic sadist, no wonder he gravitated to such a position. Sociopaths tend to very much gravitate to power rich jobs like the jobs of cops. (Could you be okay with sending someone to years in prison for pot possession?)

Almost invariably a bad trend, especially the whole gun carrying part. Wiretapping everyone can provide the national powers the sort of true totalitarianism they want, but they need people to be there to enforce everything.

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I, for one, can hardly wait for our Banana Republic to complete it’s transformation from Beacon of the Free World to Dystopian Hell on Earth. 'Merika, fuq, yeah!



Oh, wait a minute . . .


Am I the only one who is far less concerned about private security than the public police forces?

Even with less training (or possibly because they have less training), they sure seem a lot less trigger happy than our “well-trained” public police force.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d need to see some actual statistics comparing the two instead of just anecdotes.

You must be thinking of the BTK killer (Bind, Torture, Kill) - who happened to be a dog catcher in his later years. Close enough.

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As the article makes clear, there aren’t any statistics. No one is tracking even the most basic arrest and citation stats. Lack of training is absolutely going to cause problems, though - especially since no one seems to really have any real idea what the powers of the pseudo-police officers actually are.

What wasn’t made clear in the article is where all this is happening - they make it seem like it’s a nation-wide trend, but only really talk about the laws in Virginia that allow this to happen, give a passing mention of something similar in Maryland and allude to “other states.” I’m guessing this is largely confined to Virginia.

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Considering the ubiquity of “mandatory arbitration” contractual clauses, yes, there are now private judges as well.

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Right, sorry, BTK… believe he somewhere in that work area had an job as someone who checked people’s lawns, as I recall hearing someone complain about he was a real stickler and annoyance in such a role…

Checking up on the story… Dennis Rader… … " graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice"… “worked at the Wichita-based office of ADT Security Services, a home security company. He installed security alarms as a part of his job; many of his clients booked the company to stop BTK from entering their homes, unaware that BTK himself was installing them”

"He then became a dogcatcher and compliance officer in Park City.[6][10][11] In this position, neighbors recalled him as being sometimes overzealous and extremely strict; one neighbor complained that he euthanized her dog for no reason.[12] "

I believe it was the “compliance officer” role I had heard about.

I should also add: doctors (specifically surgeons) also tend to be jobs heavy for sociopaths. I think cops like surgeons probably have to turn off that empathy part of their brain to do their job. (There is a study for that.) Obviously, plenty of fine cops and surgeons out there who have strong empathic capacities, despite having to routinely give out high priced tickets or enforce useless laws that only hurt people. And others who probably don’t have any empathy to be able to switch on at all.

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Everyone knows that the rich+powerful need the cops, but police departments specifically? That’s just a marriage of convenience.

Police departments are losing legitimacy. After the fallout from Michael Brown’s murder, everyone blamed the Ferguson Police Department. The LAPD have a reputation for injustice. It’s become popular to call for regulations and restrictions on one’s local police department. One possible outcome is that departments become so regulated and hamstrung that they can’t effectively defend the interests of the rich+powerful.

So what if instead we end up with “Uber for cops”? There’s no more department to blame or demand accountability from, just a hazy cloud of independent contracters. And sure, if an individual cop gets too many one-star ratings, he’ll get dropped…but what about systemic change? How does one demand system-wide change when there is no system?

I think the moral is that we shouldn’t be singling out police departments as the source of the problem. Cops in general are the problem. And it doesn’t matter if they’re public, private, national, local, or foreign occupation, they are always a problem.


Let’s not kid ourselves anymore…

• Privatized, corporatist cops serving by and for the American people corporations.

• Limited free speech zones

• Militarized police.

• Privatized mercenary army serving by and for the American people corporations.

• Treasonous, Orwellian “patriot” act laws that strip our freedoms in the name of fighting for our freedoms while in reality we have a treasonous military-industrial complex that profitably creates entities like ISIS that perpetuates terrorism and excuses to destroy our freedoms in the name of “safety”.

• Mass, suspicionless spying.

• We’re number one! With a massive, profitable prison-industrial complex profitably harvesting prisoners in a failed drug war.

• Last western nation to have a death penalty.

• Last industrialized nation to not have a life-saving single payer system for health care.

• Massive, ever growing wealth disparity and death of the middle-class with active resistance to a living wage while corporate welfare continues to go off the charts.

Assassination plot and increased spying and harassment against peaceful activists.

• Hostile attacks on patriotic whistleblowers.

• So-called “black site” for unconstitutional detention and torturing of American citizens in Chicago which is endemic of CPD policy everywhere.

We are now a fascist state.

All this lazy apathy, lazy abstention from voting (locally and nationally) and not getting involved in our government at all levels (locally and nationally) sure has done wonders, American people.

I’m glad my Grandfather isn’t alive to see this pile of shit country we’ve become since he fought for us in World War II. I know what he would say…

“My friends died for these damn ingrates?”


Can they charge you with resisting arrest? If you shoot one in self-defense, does it count as shooting a cop?

I expect that anybody can charge anybody else with resisting arrest. The problem with most police is that they make stuff up for their convenience without necessarily knowing anything about law. Untrained private police will fare much worse in this regard.

Self-defense is self-defense. I doubt much if the distinction matters.

Their training is a joke too, at least in the United States. American cops get a fraction of the training that police have in most first-world countries. In the United States the average police officer only gets about 19 weeks of training, and in some areas as little as four weeks. That’s 1-5 months to become an expert in legal proceedings, psychology, weapons training, traffic control, public relations, vehicle safety, and the dozens of other skill sets they’ll need to employ on a daily basis.

I teach college and I can’t recall a single student I’ve had who I would have considered ready to enter the field full-time after just one semester of training. And about the worst thing any of my students could do would be to design a really shitty logo.