Rent-a-Meter-Maid

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rentacop

The days when you could mess with the rent-a-cop may be over, at least in Chicago:

Aldermen Anthony Beale (9th) and John Pope (10th) said they're putting the finishing touches on an ordinance that would mark a precedent-setting expansion of the powers of private security officers hired by local property owners…

They want to empower Total Security Management of Oakbrook Terrace to write parking tickets, moving violations and citations for offenses including loitering, littering and graffiti.

Police union officials said they plan to "fight [the ordinance] all the way," calling it dangerous for security personnel, unsafe for citizens, and more work for actual police.

In the past 14 years, some Chi-town residents have "established special service areas in which property owners pay higher taxes to augment police protection." Currently, the private security guards can detain folks, but little more.

Beale and Pope said the ordinance was about "improving the quality of life, not invading the turf of uniformed officers" and giving the "community more control over illegal activity."

Here's hoping Beale and Pope get a chance to put the "community" in "community policing." Because if the ordinance passes, perhaps those "Neighborhood Watch" signs won't look so laughable.

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  1. Private police force, when do we get Robocop?

  2. Please put down your weapon. You have 20 seconds to comply.

  3. Here’s hoping Beale and Pope get a chance to put the “community” in “community policing.” Because if the ordinance passes, perhaps those “Neighborhood Watch” signs won’t look so laughable.

    You have GOT to be kidding. If there’s any creature in the world more likely to abuse any little bit of power he’s given than an insecure cop, it’s a (deservedly) much more insecure “rent-a-cop” who’s working in a mall because he couldn’t find any police force anywhere that would take him. If the current situation is bad, just you wait. This is a recipe for nightmare.

    Yet one more (as if I needed more) reason never to go near Chicago.

  4. Where I spent much of my youth we were surrounded by corn rows, and there was very little crime. I noticed Chi-town has lots of corn rows too, but they have lots of crime. What’s with that?

  5. I don’t want rent-a-cops handing out tickets. Period.

    I’m agreeing with the Chicago Police union.
    Damn that hurt. A lot.
    In other news, the sun rose in the west this morning and they’re skiing in hell.

  6. I’m with Joel on this one. People who are given power feel oblgated to use it.

  7. They want to empower Total Security Management of Oakbrook Terrace to write parking tickets, moving violations and citations for offenses including loitering, littering and graffiti.

    This is a potentially terrible idea.

    What’s gonna happen when one of these rent-a-cops gets into it with a gang banger?

    What kind of moving violations will they enforce? Who is gonna pull over for a rent-a-cop?

    Who will be responsible/liable for the actions of these rent-a-cops?

    Will they have the same type of immunity as police?

    What kind of training will they have?

    Look, I have no love for the police of their unions that protect crooked cops, but giving a private security force police powers is not a solution to whatever problems they are trying to address.

  8. This is a recipe for nightmare.

    Possibly. A rent-a-cop at a mall is not responsible to consumers, he is responsible to the mall owners. Do you think a mall guard would go around hassling store owners? Never.

    Private security guards would be obsequious (which is a good thing) to residents of the area that hired them, because they directly paid their salaries. However, they could potentially be massive dicks to non-residents. However, how is that worse than cops who are massive dicks to everyone except powerful politicians?

  9. I say we deputize and arm all citizens. In addition to beefing up our total law enforcement numbers, it will allow each of us to have the cool powers and immunities that cops enjoy.

  10. Paul Blart: Death Wish 6

  11. The police need to be governemnt and in a union. Not Pinkertons hired by the local gentrification club.

    40 min. until John returns. On with the countdown.

  12. Chicago has malls?

  13. My favorite Chicago mall is the one the Blues Brothers drove through. Too bad it’s gone.

  14. Charles Bronson in Death Wish 9

    Bronson: (in hospital bed) Oi…I wish I dead.

  15. “I don’t want rent-a-cops handing out tickets. Period.”

    Why? Parking lots manage their parking fees wo the police. I personally think you should own and pay tax, and possibly collect income on the parking in front of your property.

    “People who are given power feel oblgated to use it.” Rent-a-Cops are not being given power, they are renting it. HA HA. Seriously, if a rent a cop screws up you can talk to the mall management. If a cop screws up, who do you talk to?

    “What’s gonna happen when one of these rent-a-cops gets into it with a gang banger?”

    Maybe they will call Rent-a-SWAT team (actually the Roto-Router man with an AK).

    What kind of moving violations will they enforce? Who is gonna pull over for a rent-a-cop? Public school educated drones will pull over. BTW, all they need is your license plate. The whole pull over thing is an obsolete, possibly dangerous, ritual that exists only so they can run warrents on you and search your car.

    “Who will be responsible/liable for the actions of these rent-a-cops?” Who is resposible for private security guards now?

    Will they have the same type of immunity as police? My guess is no, but that is what lobbyists are for.

    What kind of training will they have? OTJ training+McDonalds style overbearing management+common sense+Not having the full force of the govenrment sheilding you from your errors+not having a huge book of BS laws to enforce.

  16. If a security guard were to issue a moving violation all it would take is a few people challenging them in court. Those guys would have to testify and get paid for it, while not doing their job. Something tells me they’ll tweak this plan as they go along.

  17. This is indeed a conundrum for libertarians. Privatization of services on which there was a previous government monopoly (good) versus more cops who feel obligated to justify their existence by more stops/tickets/hassling (bad).

    I agree with J sub D, who wrote:

    I don’t want rent-a-cops handing out tickets. Period.

    I’m agreeing with the Chicago Police union.
    Damn that hurt. A lot.

    You’re not agreeing with the police union just to agree with them. You agree with them on this one issue because you both want the same outcome, but for different motives. They obviously are trying to protect their jobs and turf from interlopers. You (presumably) don’t want to expand police powers.

    We don’t have to get in bed with the union, as it were, on this. We can work with them on this issue, then break things off once our goals are achieved, rather like (what I presume would be) Epi’s behavior on a first date.

    FWIW, this might build some goodwill between libertarians and police. Costs nothing, achieves our goals, adds value.

  18. Rental cops can be sued, wont shake down store owners, aren’t unionized, could be fired for misconduct. I really doubt letting them write tickets is going to make them into sadistic police state enforcers. Like the current Chicago police are.

  19. I’m agreeing with the Chicago Police union.
    Damn that hurt. A lot.
    In other news, the sun rose in the west this morning and they’re skiing in hell.

    I agree with that.

    Ow. My head hurts. Damnit.

  20. MrRoboto:

    Rental cops can currently be sued, but it’s only a matter of time until someone decides they need the same immunity that real police have.

    [P]roperty owners pay higher taxes to augment police protection.

    Which is troubling right there.

    They aren’t unionized yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

  21. “”””Rental cops can be sued, wont shake down store owners, aren’t unionized, could be fired for misconduct.”””

    And that would change the moment the first company was sued. Other rent a cop companies will not want to take up the slack if one bad apple can destroy their buisness. They would lobby accordingly and laws would be changed in order to protect the companies from liability.

    “””Who is gonna pull over for a rent-a-cop? “””

    That’s part of the problem. What levels of escalation will rent a cops have? I would imagine that if you didn’t pull over they would call the cops then the whole thing might be treated as if you are running from the real cops.

  22. What’s gonna happen when one of these rent-a-cops gets into it with a gang banger?

    A gunfight will ensue wherein the combatants expend somewhere around 1,293 rounds of ammunition with nary an injury to either one.

  23. This isn’t the same as an HOA hiring private security. This is the municipal equivalent of the federal government hiring mercenaries. Not a good idea.

  24. the first time i read about a rent-a-cop pulling someone over for a moving violation and getting his ass shot off, i’m going to snort beer all over my monitor.

  25. Yes, what is needed desperately in the United States are more people with police powers. Of course.

  26. On the downside, there are a lot of things that could go wrong with this, and once they get established they’ll only gain more and more police powers, immunity, and ability to fine and confiscate.

    On the upside, this brings our world one step closer to being cyberpunk like a Neal Stephenson or William Gibson novel. That’s a good thing, right?

  27. Sounds like some union doesn’t like their monopoly being threatened.

  28. Yes, what is needed desperately in the United States are more people with police powers. Of course.

    Oh, I think everyone should have police powers, especially me.

    I look forward to pulling over my first trooper for speeding without his lights on, rolling through a stop sign, or turning without his signals on.

    It will be sweet.

  29. On first glance, I thought people around here would love this idea. I’m only a soft libertarian, so my handle on the principles isn’t rock-solid, I guess.

    Anyway, we have something similar to this already in Ireland, where city and town councils have outsourced ticketing and clamping for parking violations to private companies. Not surprisingly, the available space for free parking has also reduced dramatically, while parking restrictions have become more difficult to understand. Citizens have little recourse to appeal.

    The policy has also produced weird conflicts with other supposed goals of local government. For instance, in a nearby town the council made all parking within walking distance of the commuter train station pay-only, thereby reducing by about 60% the number of people from outlying areas who would drive to the station and take the train to work. Now the subsidised transport company is jacking up prices and reducing services to compensate for the fall in demand. Meanwhile the national government is readying a carbon tax to deal with all the cars on the road. Things are going great with our rent-a-cops.

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