Security Essay, Research Paper
Bill March 28, 2000
Laws are made to maintain order by setting restrictions on conduct and to protect the rights of parties. There are three types of laws, which are: tort law, criminal law and contract law. Tort law is a civil wrong, criminal law is a public wrong and contract law is a wrong against a contract, written or oral.
Tort law is the primary source for the authority of private security officers and the limitations on such authority. Tort law varies from state to state. The law of torts is found in both legislation and court developed by common law. Common law is a set of statutes, which have to be followed and rely on prior court decisions to help us decide on issues where there is no prior statue or how to interpret what a statue says. Tort law doesn?t apply specific authority for private security officers (PSO), but does define some limits on the conduct of PSO. This allows for injured parties to bring lawsuit for damages and injuries caused by the misconduct of PSO and/or any businesses and organizations associated with the situation in question. It restrains authority by threat of subsequent lawsuits. There are three types of torts that are: intentional, negligence and strict liability. Intentional is when PSO intends to do something to make you injured. Three examples are false imprisonment, assault and battery. Negligence is the PSO didn?t act as a reasonable PSO would. There are four conditions or elements for a negligence lawsuit to succeed: 1) that an established link or duty to the plaintiff exists; 2) that the defendant breached this established duty; 3) that the breach of duty by the defendant was the proximate cause of damage or injury; and 4) that the breach of duty by the defendant resulted in the occurrence of actual damage or injury to the plaintiff. Strict liability is dangerous activities and product liability, for example the PSO product is their conduct and if it is not suitable it may be liable to be sued. Tort law differs from criminal law in that private parties do the suing and the suing party seeks compensation not punishment for the damages incurred. In court the burden of proof is much less than criminal.
In criminal law, an action is defined as a ?social harm? for which the offender is answerable to society (not an individual, as in tort law) and is punishable by law. Criminal law operates as a deterrent to the extent that the law is known, the consequences of being convicted are sufficient and the criminal justice system operates effectively in imposing sanctions. Two concepts that are important of a PSO are to acquire working knowledge of criminal law. First is the legal maxim that everyone is presumed to know the laws of the state and nation. The second legal concept is that a law must be clear and understandable so that an ordinary person will know what conduct is prohibited. The burden of proof in court is beyond a reasonable doubt. Which means that if one-juror thinks that the person is innocent or guilty and the rest think otherwise, there is a mistrial and the person gets retried. If the person was to be convicted of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt the person will punished by imprisonment, an alternative to incarceration, an example is electronic home confinement and the last punishment could possible be a fine. To be convicted of a crime the court must show that the person had mens rea and acts rea. Mens rea is the guilty mind, which means that the person had the intent to commit the act and actus rea is the guilty act itself.
Contract law is a wrong against a contract, which can be written or oral. There are several types of contractual arrangements that are important to the scope of authority of private security personnel. Improvements in electronic alarm systems and seemingly reduce costs have led many businesses to install them in the last decade. This movement has focused attention in contract law to the various alarm application and their relationships to a business enterprise. The terms of a contract between a business enterprise and a security service may limit the private security officer?s authority and define more stringent standards of behavior than are defined in other bodies of law. The contract between the security agency and the employing company usually will define the respective liabilities of all parties. In 1963 the Uniform Commercial Code, made uniform laws adopted in forty nine states governing sales contracts for goods, commercial paper, security interests, documents of title and securities transfers. There are four requirements to make a contract: 1) there must be an agreement, 2) consideration, 3) the party receiving the contract must have full capacity, 4) it must be legal.
As an OSHA personal I visited Niagara University on March 1, 1999. On my visit I observed the officers in campus safety at the school. One of the faults that I observed was an incident, which involved two students who had gotten stuck in an elevator in the O?shea dormitory. Two officers responded to the call and when they reached the destination of the trapped students, they found themselves in a predicament. The officers had no idea what to do. One officer turned off the lights and said, ?Maybe they will fall asleep.? I thought that the statement was ridiculous considering you have two college students on a Friday night who sounded liquored up, was not the brightest thing to do. Then I observed the other officer yelling at the students who by now were getting irritated because of the lack of training these officers had received and the fact that they had been in the elevator for about two and half hours now. My main problem with this situation is; what if there was a fire and the students had to get out right away, the officers are going to turn out the lights and hope they live?
Another problem that I noticed that their response time to incidents or order maintenance calls was extremely slow. Also an officer who was working at the campus bar was completely intoxicated when I went to check out how he was working.
My last fault with the NU security was that their director had very bad public relations. He was easily angered at students. Other faculty and administration of the school also push him around. His biggest problem is that most students don?t as well as his own employees.