Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Security Guards in lieu of Police Officers

The WSJ today carried an article about municipalities that are hiring security guards to do police work.

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 reponsible for insurance for the guards.

UPDATE: The WSJ reports today that the Oakland contract was cancelled because of a fraud investigation of the owners of the security firm. So much for outsourcing.


Macon said...

Just another reason why one should seriously consider carrying one's own protection with them.

Paul Stokes said...

If every able bodied citizen who was well-trained in the use of firearms, had an unblemished record, and was otherwise competent carried a weapon, and if the general culture approved of and encouraged this sort of citizen responsibility, we probably would not need so many police and/or security guards in the first place. The problem is that government claims a monopoly on defending its citizens on a day-to-day basis. And that posture of government is aided and abetted by old media and the totalitarian tendencies of political parties.