Private security is one of those things that we see all the time. Security companies provide personnel for banks, malls, retail stores, and pretty much anyone else who needs security but doesn’t necessarily warrant a police officer stationed there full-time.
These companies can run the gamut from the proverbial “rent-a-cop” to high-end, close-protection professionals like you see surrounding a Hollywood starlet.
But these days, companies like this are being contracted by a completely different group of people. Neighborhoods are hiring them.
Neighborhoods around major cities are increasingly hiring more private security firms and keeping them around more permanently to help curb violent crime outbreaks plaguing residents.
A private security firm consisting of over 800 retired law enforcement officers has been contracted by a newly formed organization called the Bucktown Neighbors Association, according to a letter the group sent out to local residents and businesses, WFLD reported. The group wrote in their letter the new private security firm are enlisted “to deter crime and act as the liaison between the neighborhood and the Chicago Police Department.”
As far back as 2016, Chicago residents have sought help from private security companies to clean up their streets. Donald Mudd, 58, a resident of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood told a local news outlet in 2016 he hired a firm of armed, off-duty police officers. In roughly a month, his neighborhood had gotten dramatically safer, he claimed.
Mudd wasn’t alone. The Southport Community Alliance, a group of families from the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, hired a firm to patrol their neighborhood, according to The Chicago-Sun Times. Among the over 100 families supporting the move to hire private security was the president of the city’s Major League Baseball team, the Chicago Cubs.
Residents of the Marina District, a neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area, hired private security earlier this year to help quell the surging crime in their neighborhood. Following the move by Marina District residents, those living in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood reportedly met to discuss following suit.
While reporting from the Marina District, a local reporter pointed out how all people had to do was look around. “It is really not hard to find broken glass and signs of damage everywhere,” she said on air. Convenience and pharmacy chain Walgreens closed over 20 of its locations around San Francisco due to the ongoing organized retail theft in the city.
The thing to note here is that neither Lakeview nor the Marina District are exactly poor neighborhoods. These are wealthy areas that are seeing a significant amount of crime, an amount well beyond what the police are able to handle, and so they’re hiring private security.
I actually have no issue with this. If you want to and have the means to supplement law enforcement with private security, then so be it.
What bothers me is that, based on history and demographics, I know that a lot of people in both of these neighborhoods–to say nothing of the many other wealthy neighborhoods in large cities hiring private security–oppose the private ownership of firearms.
In other words, they want to be protected by guns themselves, but screw anyone too poor to outsource their personal safety.
That kind of hypocrisy should bother each and every one of us.
The message being sent here is that they’re somehow more important than the rest of us, that they should be made safer than you or me.
Never mind that people in poorer sections are generally more likely to be the victim of a violent crime. That’s completely irrelevant in their mind simply because folks like that simply don’t matter.
Someone once argued that gun control was an ivory tower concept, the personal protection equivalent of “let the maid do it.” This is exactly what we’re seeing here.
Again, I don’t begrudge them spending their money to make their neighborhoods safer. I’d just prefer it if they’d recognize that not everyone else has that kind of money but may still have a need to protect themselves.