Oakland, Baltimore Said to Be Seeking Private Security Solutions


Two different local news stories from two different cities in past week claim that major American urban areas are becoming more reliant on "private security."

First, Baltimore, via a Fox News story:

In Baltimore City there are four special tax districts where residents pay more to make their neighborhoods safer. Charles Village is one of them and has the lowest surtax of the four. It was formed in the mid-1990s as a way for the community to provide supplemental security and sanitation services to what the city was already providing. The surtax charged to homeowners has never been altered.

Baltimore's Little Italy community is one of the latest to seek to hire its own private security force, following the recent beating and robbery caught on a private security camera. The added layer of security is an effective one, City Councilman James Kraft says….Oftentimes it's the same people being paid to keep the community safe. "We have a program that allows us to hire off duty police officers and it allows us to get officers in neighborhoods where we have greater concerns," Kraft said.

Then, Oakland, via a CBS story:

With budget cuts forcing Oakland to trim its police force by a third, residents decided to pay themselves for private security patrols, which is understandable when you hear [resident Jan] Hetherington's story.

"A car came down the street, three guys got out with a gun. There was a gun battle three blocks over. And I did hear actually a bullet went through somebody's house."

That routine gunfire turned tragic last month.

"Our neighbor Judy, who lived in the next block to me, was shot and killed," said Hetherington…..

Pastor Gregg Brown moved here nine years ago. Even he has been threatened at gunpoint, right outside his Lutheran church

"I was scared and I'm still scared," he said.

The man with the gun complained about the noisy power washer used to clean the church sidewalk. Brown was told to stop or he'll be shot. "That's how close the crime is," he said….

Other residents hope that when the private security patrols begin in a couple of weeks, it will bring a sense of security to a neighborhood most love too much to leave.

Once a few years back when lecturing on libertarian history to some students at a downtown-Atlanta based community college, a questioner instantly honed on the possible anarchist implications of what I was discussing and asked, hey, what would urban life be like without police?

I asked the students the Zen question: consider, for all the intents and purposes in which they might actually actively help make your life better, couldn't it be said that there is already in your life, no such thing as police? Most of them thought it was a point well taken.

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  1. Is that “added layer of security” going to stand between customers and regular Charm City po-po when need be? If the additional forces are staffed by off-duty officers then who wants it?

  2. No OCP/Robocop reference?

    Doherty, YOU SUCK!!!!!

    1. Personally, I’m wondering if Knight Errant or Lone Star will get the contract.

      1. I’m hoping Lonestar, they’re much easier to bribe

        1. There’s only one man who would dare give me the raspberry! LONE STAR!

  3. Am I missing something? The story about ‘Detroit’ is actually about Oakland, CA. Which is a different place. There’s no Pacific ocean visible from where I’m sitting, here in Midtown Detroit.

    Actually, Midtown outsources its police already–to Wayne State’s police (‘public safety’) department. And they do a pretty good job.

    On the other hand, I’m peripherally involved with the WSU public safety effort, so maybe I’m biased.

    1. ‘Detroit’ is actually about Oakland, CA. Which is a different place.

      They’re only like 2000 miles apart, easy to mix up…

    2. No, just crazy careless brainfart on my part. Not about Detroit at all.

      1. Detroit can’t afford even cutrate private security.

  4. How about restoring 2nd amendment rights to ‘shall not be infringed’, so that people can protect themselves? That’s way too hard for progressives to ever figure out.

    Here’s how that security works in Balmer. You don’t live, go to, or even drive through if you can avoid, those neighborhoods that have the crime issues. That’s the only solution that will work, because the one I mentioned above, is not going to happen.

    Now Detroit wants to try NYCs stop and frisk. Great idea. Already, no one wants to live there, so just make sure to make it more unattractive to live there.

  5. It’s kind of a shame that the cops are so busy doing important work like busting down pot smokers’ doors, shooting dogs, and beating mentally ill homeless people to death that they don’t have time for the frivolous parts of police work like patrolling neighborhoods and investigating crimes.

    1. You can’t expect cops to live up to the high standards of clown ethics.

  6. How is hiring off-duty police officers “private” security? It’s essentially overtime for the officers, because at this point cops are never “off duty”. They have all the powers of arrest and gun-toting and whatnot that they have “on duty” at all times. The entire concept of “off duty” has been utterly gutted by various laws that make them full-time, always-on cops.

    The entire reason people hire “off duty” cops is…they’re still cops, with all the privileges that go along with that. Why hire some meathead to be your bouncer when you can hire a cop who can call for backup even when “off duty”?

    1. … sooooo it’s a bribe to get the cops to do their jobs?

      1. Everything is a bribe to get the cops to “do their jobs”, whatever that is.

        1. I thought everything was a bribe to get the cops not to assault and/or kidnap me, which is totally their job.

          1. Shut up and pay your protection money, nicole.

            “Listen Leo, I pay off to you every month like a greengrocer–a lot more than the schmatta–and I’m sick of gettin’ the high hat.”

            1. Actually, I think she was making an oblique reference to her BDSM fantasies.

      2. Ding ding ding

    2. Exactly. Our state has a law where club owners have to hire off duty cops for security. Ridiculous.

  7. I asked the students the Zen question: consider, for all the intents and purposes in which they might actually actively help make your life better, couldn’t it be said that there is already in your life, no such thing as police?

    I can’t think of a single interaction I’ve had with a cop, in over a half a century, where I was better off as a result of them being on the job.

    It’s pretty much been them either threatening me with jail or stealing money from me via tickets, or, at best, ineffectually filing a report.

    1. A cop attended my stabbed ex before the ambulance arrived and they found the stabber (his wallet was at the scene, so it didn’t take Columbo), so the positives aren’t a complete zero. That’s all that comes to mind, though.

    2. I was riding a bicycle around dusk one night, heading home. My shoelace untied as I was pedaling and somehow got wrapped around the pedal shaft and I couldn’t move anymore. The only thing I could do (after stopping) was fall gently to the ground to assess how I was going to untangle the shoelace. Seconds after I lay onto ground a cop drives by, rolls the window down and yells “Do you need an ambulance?”

      I laughed and said, “No, I’m just trying to untangle my shoelace from the pedal or chain or whatever. Can you lend me a-” He rolled up the window and sped away before I could ask for help. An extra pair of hands and I would have been out of there in 60 seconds, instead it took me ten minutes to unhook myself from that mess.

      During that ten minutes I was alternately laughing at myself for the retarded situation I was in and pissed off at the completely useless waste of money police are.

  8. Haunting new PSA uses the Trayvon Martin shooting as the basis for their fight against Stand Your Ground laws and features George Zimmerman’s real 911 call in the ad

    Unsurprisingly it starts with the 911 call and then jumps to the shooting, conveniently skipping the part where the kid jumped out and started beating the shit out of him. That part didn’t happen. He just followed the kid and shot him.

    1. Poor little guy. Just skipping down the street with his skittles and tea whistling to himself when some white guy decides to assert his privilege under the racist Stand Your Ground law.

  9. Kevin James, Mall Cop? Should’ve gone with Seth Rogen, Observe and Report.

  10. How come this shit only happens in blue cities? You here about this sort of shit in places like Baltimore, New York, and Chicago, but you don’t hear too much about it in places like Phoenix or Houston.

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