Chicago to Give Security Guards More Power?

In what has to be the king of bad ideas, Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago said a proposal to give private security guards the authority to write tickets might just be a good thing for the city.

The Chicago Tribune reports that two South Side alderman proposed the idea to allow the private armed security guards that patrol their districts to have ticket-writing authority  for minor infractions, like loitering, graffiti and parking violations. They reason that that will free up the real cops to focus on violent crime.

“It’s not a bad idea,” Daley said. “The more police you have out there … I like the concept … it will help us.” Does Daley really understand the proposal? They are not proposing more police on the street. They’re proposing to give non-police more police-like authority.

In a city known the world over for its colossal corruption problem, giving what amounts to hourly contractors the authority to ticket whomever they see fit is rife with problems. Questions that immediately pop to mind…. Who are the security guards accountable to? Will they have additional training in law enforcement? What happens when the guy they’re trying to ticket for tagging pulls a gun?

It seems like, counter to the plan, you will see an uptick in violence and unrest coming from altercations with inexperienced guards and petty criminals, along with wrongful citations and claims against the city.

Thankfully the police union denounced the idea, and let’s hope the proposal doesn’t go far.  In the Chicago Sun-Times, the Fraternal Order of Police’s Greg Bella said,  “When you put somebody out there who does not know the job, it makes double work for us.”

While I am no fan of cops writing citations, I would much prefer to get one from them over a clueless power-tripping security guard with no real background in law enforcement. Can you imagine if these guys had that power?

Article from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times

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