Private Security and the Law

Private Security and the Law, 4th Edition

Private Security and the Law, 4th Edition,Charles Nemeth,ISBN9780123869227






A comprehensive analysis of private security case law, regulatory oversight, administrative procedures and statutes, with a fresh look at recent developments!

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Key Features

*Authoritative, scholarly treatise sheds light on this increasingly important area of the law

*Historical background helps readers understand the present by seeing the full context of recent developments

*National scope provides crucial parameters to security practitioners throughout the US

*NEW TO THIS EDITION! A chapter on the legal implications of private contractors operating in war zones like Afghanistan, updated coverage of statutory authority, updated coverage of state and federal processes of oversight and licensure, special analysis of public-private cooperative relationships in law enforcement


Private Security and the Law, Fourth Edition traces legal developments affecting the private security industry. It examines the industrys staying power and ability to adapt to changes in law enforcement, from street and community protection to the protection of assets, buildings, and people. It considers the roles of law and legal analysis in private-sector justice, and shows how areas such as courts, prisons, policing, and community services are drawn into the world of privatization. The book is divided into eight chapters encompassing topics ranging from the historical foundations of private security to professionalism in the industry. It walks the reader through the laws of arrest, search, and seizure and their applications in the private sector, along with the nature of civil liability and the criminal liability of security personnel. It also discusses the role of private security in enforcing the law and explains how evidence is collected, preserved, and interpreted. Moreover, it compares law enforcement in the public and private sectors and considers the concepts of self-help and self-protection, as well as the constitutional framework of criminal justice in the United States. Other chapters address the place of arrest in private sector justice, challenges to the safe harbor of private security, and positive programs for interaction and cooperation between the public and private sectors in law enforcement. Selected cases that have set precedents for private security are also presented. This book is a valuable resource for security managers and traineers, as well as for educators.


Students in Physical Security, Security Management, and Criminal Justice programs in traditional and for-profit schools; security professionals; law enforcement

Charles Nemeth

JD, Ph.D., LL.M

Charles Nemeth, JD, Ph.D., LL.M. is currently a professor and the Chair of the Security, Fire and Emergency Management Department at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, NY. He is a widely published author with over 30 titles to his credit and is a regular consultant to security companies. He holds a JD from the University of Baltimore and a post doctoral degree in Law, Psychiatry and Criminology, the LL.M., from the National Law Center of George Washington University. Dr. Nemeth is a recognized expert in private sector justice, ethical issues in law and legal analysis and appellate practice, and also holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Duquesne University. For more than two decades, he has practiced law in both the civil and criminal arena, specializing in personal injury and criminal litigation, and has been active in the North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania Bars. He regularly consults with collegiate institutions and private sector justice entities.

Affiliations and Expertise

Chair and Professor Security, Fire and Emergency Management John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY

View additional works by Charles Nemeth

Private Security and the Law, 4th Edition

Chapter One: Historical Foundations of Private Security

Introduction: The Concepts Of Self-Help And Self-Protection

Historical Foundations

The Middle Ages

Colonial America

Law Enforcement in the Industrial Revolution.

Coming of Age: Private Security

Lack of an Effective Public Force

Movement of Goods and Services

The Pinkerton Factor: Industrialization and Unionization

Western U.S. Expansionism

Contemporary Private Security

Discussion Questions


Chapter 2: Regulation, Licensing, Education, and Training: The Path to Professionalism in the Security Industry

Introduction: The Impetus For Increased Regulation

Federal Regulation

State Regulation


Experience Requirements


Personal Character

Education and Training

Professional and Continuing Education

Model Educational Programs: Curricula

Ethical Considerations


Discussion Questions


Chapter 3: The Law of Arrest, Search, and Seizure: Applications in the Private Sector


Constitutional Framework of American Criminal Justice

Arrest and Private Sector Justice

The Law of Citizen’s Arrest-The Private Security Standard

Time of the Arrest

Presence and Commission

The Law of Search and Seizure: Public Police

The Law of Search and Seizure: Private Police

Challenges to the Safe Harbor of Private Security

The Platinum Platter Doctrine

Private Action as State Action

The Public Function of Private Security

Color of State Law: A Legislative Remedy

Constitutional Prognosis for Private Security


Case Examples

State of Tennessee v. Gregory D. Hutson, 649 S.W. 2d 6 (1982).



Private Search and Seizure-United States of America v. Lacey Lee Koenig and Lee Graf, 856 F.2d 843 (7th Cir. 1988).




Discussion Questions


Chapter 4: Civil Liability of Security Personnel


The Nature of Civil Liability

Classification of Civil Wrongs/Torts

Intentional Torts



False Imprisonment

Infliction of Emotional or Mental Distress

Malicious Prosecution


Invasion of Privacy


Negligence and Security Management

Strict Liability Torts

Vicarious Liability

Miscellaneous Issues in Vicarious Liability

Remedies under the Civil Rights Act: 42 U.S.C. § 1983

"Private" Applications of § 1983

State Regulations as Providing Color of State Law

The Public Function Theory

The Nexus Theory

The Police Moonlighter: A Merging of Public and Private Functions


Case Examples

False Imprisonment-Pamela Sue Peak, by her father and next friend, Francis Wilber Peak v. W.T. Grant Company, 386 S.W. 685.



Malicious Prosecution-Arnold v. Eckerd Drugs of Georgia, Inc., 358 S.E.2d 632 (Ga. App. 1987).



Premises Security-Opal Frederick, v. TPG Hospitality, Inc., Et Al., 56 F. Supp. 2d 76 (United States District Court for the District of Columbia 1999).



Vicarious Liability-Shaffer v. Wells Fargo Guard Services, Etc., (1988 Fla App D3) 528 So. 2d 389, 13 FLW 562.



Negligence and Foreseeability-Rosabel Brown v. J.C. Penney Company, Inc., 667 P. 2d. 1047 (1983).



Negligence and the Environment-Ruth Nicoletti v. Westcor, Incorporated, 639 P. 2d. 330 (1982).



State Action Theory-Nicole Anderson v. Randall Park Mall Corporation, 571 F. Supp. 1173 (1983).



Discussion Questions


Chapter 5: Criminal Liability of Security Personnel

Introduction: The Problem of Criminal Liability

Criminal Liability under the Federal Civil Rights Acts

Criminal Liability and the Regulatory Process

Criminal Acts

Defenses to Criminal Acts: Self-Help

Personal Self-Defense

Use of Force in Self-Protection

Protection of Other Persons

Defense of Property

Procedural Questions

Private Security and Miranda Warnings


Case Examples

Third-Party Crimes



Miranda Rights-Tarnef v. State, 512 P. 2d. 923 (1973).



Discussion Questions


Chapter 6: The Enforcement of Laws and the Collection, Preservation and Interpretation of Evidence

Introduction: Private Security’s Role in Enforcing the Law

Defining Criminal Liability

The Criminal Act (Actus Reus)

The Criminal Mind (Mens Rea)

Classification of Criminal Offenses and Related Penalties

Specific Types of Crimes and Offenses

Offenses against the Person

Felonious Homicide



Felony Murder Rule


Kidnapping and False Imprisonment

Sexual Offenses

Offenses against the Habitation and Other Buildings




Theft or Larceny


Offenses against Public Order and Decency


Public Drunkenness

Other Public Order Provisions

Evidence and Proof

The Chain of Custody

The Admission of Business Records

Real and Demonstrative Evidence

Lay Witnesses

Expert Witnesses

Practical Exercise: Cross-Examination

A Potpourri of Evidentiary Principles

Burden of Proof

Questions of Law versus Questions of Fact

The Basic Types of Evidence

Three Forms of Evidence


Case Examples

Third-Party Criminal Acts-Hatt v. Hammond, NO. 236637 (Pima County Superior Court, Tuscon, Arizona, October 20, 1987)



Third-Party Criminal Acts



Discussion Questions


Chapter 7: Public and Private Law Enforcement: A Blueprint for Cooperation

Introduction: The Relationship between the Public and Private Sectors

Public Interest versus Private Concerns

Moral or Egalitarian Purpose

A Caste System of Professionalism

A Failure to Communicate and Cooperate

Positive Programs on Interaction and Cooperation

College and Municipal Police Forces

Transit and Municipal Police Forces

Private Security Industry and Law Enforcement Agencies


National Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice

The Hallcrest Report

The Private Sector Office of the Department of Homeland Security


Discussion Questions


Chapter 8: Selected Case Readings


Aetna Casualty & Surety Company v. Pendleton Detectives of Mississippi, Inc.

Arthur Letourneau Et Al. V. The Department Of Registration And Education Et Al.,

Beverly Jean Whitehead, et al. v. USA-One, Inc.,

Burdeau v. McDowell

State of Minnesota v. Jeffrey Scott Buswell

Kelley et al. v. Baker Protective Services, Inc.,

Leroy Ross v. Texas One

Marta Rivas & Alberto Rivas v. Nationwide Personal Security Corporation

N.C. Private Protective Services Board v. Gray, Inc., D/B/A Superior Security

Andrew J. Neuens v. City Of Columbus

Barry Walker v. May Department Stores Co.

Kyong Wood & Sheila Copeland v. The City Of Topeka

The People v. Virginia Alvinia Zelinski

Douglas Moore v Detroit Entertainment, L.L.C.

Ramirez v. Fifth Club, Inc.

State Of Louisiana v. Steven Michael Presson

Wesley Locke v. Ozark City Board of Education

Michael Wells v. Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. and The University Of Michigan.

Nick White v. Martel Moylan, Melissa Bilodeau, Carolyn Hill, and Macys's Department Store

Washington County v. Washington County Deputy Sheriff's Association

United States of America v. Jeffrey Craig

Appendix 1 - Florida Statutes

Appendix 2 - List of Associations and Groups

Appendix 3 - Sample Forms

Exhibit 1 - Issuer’s Bond

Exhibit 2 - Application for Private Detective Employee or Private Security Guard Employee

Exhibit 3 - Affidavit of Experience

Exhibit 4 - Application for Private Detective or Security Service License

Exhibit 5 - Private Security Guard Company / Qualifying Principal License Application

Exhibit 6 - Private Security Instructor Application

Exhibit 7 - Renewal of Registration Application

Exhibit 8 - Training Session Notification Form

Exhibit 9 - Application for Company License

Exhibit 10 - Application for Employee Registration

Exhibit 11 - Private Security Guard License Application

Appendix 4 - The Law Enforcement-Private Security Consortium, Operation Partnership: Trends and Practices in Law Enforcement and Private Security Collaborations 119-122 (2005).


Quotes and reviews

"The information provided is critical to security managers, particularly if they are responsible for premises liability. This book was a pleasant surprise-the best, most comprehensive insight into private security law to date."--Security Management, June 2013
"Private Security and the Law, 4th Edition, is a unique resource that provides analysis of practices in the security industry as they relate to law, regulation, licensure, and constitutional questions of case and statutory authority. This book describes the legal requirements faced in the area of private security. It emphasizes the liability problems common to security operations, including negligence and tortious liability, civil actions frequently litigated, and strategies to avoid legal actions that affect business efficiency. The text also examines the constitutional and due-process dimensions of private security both domestically and internationally, including recent cases and trends that will set pace for future private security laws and regulations. As private security becomes more closely involved in national and international security, cases like Blackwater are examined. The author takes you step by step through the analysis of case law as it applies to situations commonly faced in the private security practice, providing a solid introduction to the legal and ethical standards that shape the industry."--ASIS


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