Our nation’s police departments are under intense pressure to keep crime rates low despite reduced manpower and budgets. As President of the Northeast Region for North America’s leading physical security services company, I believe in the power of public-private partnerships. Three decades ago, very few private security and law enforcement liaison programs existed. Today, New York and other cities across the country boast many collaborative initiatives.
Police officers rely on security professionals as force multipliers: extra sets of eyes on the street that can observe, monitor and report trends. Security professionals, in turn, appreciate police alerts of possible threats in the area, and bulletins of wanted suspects. Two-way communication, across a variety of methods, enhances mutual respect and coordination between private and public sector law enforcement.
Establishing public-private programs that further police and security cooperation in the protection of people and property helps to enhance the safety and security of our communities. In New York City, NYPD SHIELD is an umbrella program for a series of current and future police department initiatives that pertain to private sector security. This public-private partnership boasts best practices, lessons learned and counterterrorism training and information sharing, with the goal of partnering with private sector security managers to protect New York City from terrorist attacks.
The key to success for a major public-private initiative, such as SHIELD, is that information flows in both directions. Private sector security forces serve as an extension of staff for the NYPD, or other public law enforcement agencies, as they are familiar with local buildings, venues and the community from an insider’s perspective. Based upon their specialized training, they also understand what belongs and what may be out of place.
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