THE MAGAZINE

Terrorism and Public Safety Policing: Implications for the Obama Presidency

By James F. Pastor; Reviewed by James T. Roberts, Jr., CPP

 

***** Terrorism and Public Safety Policing: Implications for the Obama Presidency. By James F. Pastor; published by Taylor & Francis Group/CRC Press, www.crcpress.com (Web); 458 pages; $79.95.
 
In his previous work, James Pastor—who is a former law enforcement officer, an attorney, and a security scholar—looked at why American communities would increasingly use private security to carry out responsibilities traditionally handled by law enforcement. In this new book, he examines how 9-11 created a new reality in which law enforcement is, by necessity, moving to a more paramilitary mind-set.
 
Police agencies are increasingly concerned about their ability to deal with terrorist acts and other homeland security issues as well as the threat of aggressive, well-armed criminal gangs. Efforts such as community-based and intelligence-led policing no longer stand alone as core missions because the agencies do not have the manpower or means to do it all.
 
Pastor posits that one consequence of the changes is that the traditional law enforcement and security missions are becoming intertwined. He envisions and advocates a new model of public-safety policing in which private security forces carry out certain community security and safety functions in partnership with public law enforcement personnel. This approach, he argues, would allow sworn government officers to focus on more pressing requirements. Pastor shows that an increasing number of larger agencies are already engaged in developing and implementing private security and policing functions as part of their operations.
 
The success of this new approach hinges on private security stepping up to the plate and meeting challenges noted by Pastor in his last chapter. Licensing and training, constitutional protections, arrest powers, accountability standards, intelligence protection and utilization, and use-of-force are just some of the issues that must be addressed before communities will accept a private element in the law enforcement mission.
 
Security professionals would do well to read and heed the message Pastor is sending. The future of security depends on how well it is integrated into public policy. Public-safety policing will be an increasingly major part of that integration.
 

Reviewer: James T. Roberts, Jr., CPP, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), M.Ed., is a retired U.S. marshal and president of JT Roberts Associates, currently with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq. He has served ASIS as a chapter chair, regional vice president, national council chair, and member of the Professional Certification Board and Item Development Group. He is currently a member of the Law Enforcement Liaison Council.

 

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