Washington Post Offers Dire Warnings About Private Policing; Even While Private Policing is Shown To Be Cheaper and Safer than Government Policing


The Washington Post, the voice of the Washington government establishment if there ever was one, has launched a scary news story about the purported growth of private (meaning, in this sense, contract, or privately-owned police companies licensed under a special Virginia statute) policing. The Washington Post story warns of private officers who may be undertrained. The story is long on anecdotes of imperfections but short on any details of serious abuses or mistakes by private officers.

Importantly, private security is much more liable to lawsuits than public-sector officers, whom are generally cloaked in expansive immunity from lawsuits. Such personal-injury liability makes private security workers MUCH LESS LIKELY to misbehave, use improper force or cause property damage than public officers.

And most data show that where police security has been privatized, there are fewer false arrests and malicious prosecutions, less police-caused property damage, fewer wrongful discharges of firearms and lower actual crime rates. See, for example, “Crime Falls After Houston Neighborhood Ditches Police; Hires Private Security.”