25 Sep 13
In some areas, the police force constantly work amid pressures of tight budgets and increasing violence in their communities. Private security, typically reserved for executives and celebrities, has been hired as extra eyes and ears in Oakland, California. Due to the rising crime rate and the laying off of many sworn law officials, the private security will aid the efforts of the overwhelmed police force.
Oakland has consistently had high crime rates to become one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. With growing totals for assaults, home invasions, burglaries and other crimes, many Oakland residents are installing cameras, alarms and hiring private security to patrol their neighborhood, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Some firms have been paid to guard as many as 500 homes in neighborhoods due to the fear of potential threats. This includes both affluent and middle-class communities that have asked for the additional protection. Although the private security will not substitute for police, they will add a significant amount of force to the 615 officers that are serving for the city of 400,000 people.
“Both in terms of amounts and seriousness, (burglaries and break-ins) were escalating,” public safety committee member Nancy Safford said. “What we were observing was at least two to five cars a day drive through the neighborhood that we were fairly confident weren’t visiting the neighborhood, but were casing the neighborhood – and that has completely stopped.”
Private security services are expected to rise significantly over the next few years. By 2015, the world security services market is expected to reach $220 billion from $174 billion in 2010, according to Gavin de Becker & Associates. The private security force of over 2 million professionals employed significantly outweighs the 765,000 of sworn, full-time law enforcement. Although some areas may see this trend emerge over other communities, Oakland has already begun using private security services due to the difficult of the city to match the cost of the police force.
“Oaklanders deserve more safety, and to the extent that citizens can generate it for themselves and their neighborhood, I applaud that effort,” Councilwoman Libby Schaaf told the San Francisco Chronicle. “But it does not excuse the city for failing to provide the most basic element of government. It is not a substitute.”
Using software solutions
While additional security presence may be necessary for Oakland, security software will also help private guards as well as police officers work better together to prevent crime in the city. The software will allow the two security forces to share information, allowing more thorough investigations and improved result accuracy. With the reporting tools, officials will be able to identify emerging trends, such as areas where crime breaks out more often and what acts are committed the most frequently. This will help guards direct their efforts for better prevention in these communities and enable the officials to choose a solution that will be the most effective.
Oakland residents have risen to the occasion to protect their community by hiring private security. With security software, guards will be able to better plan for safety measures and help significantly reduce the crime rate.