Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Security Guards and Cops on the Scene

As Roc was relaying a story late last night, I thought about the fact that most stores in his precinct neighborhood have their own private security.
The NYPD posts two police officers at all times at the City Pool.
The supermarket, the Rite Aid, the local church or mosque: they all employ security guards.

Then I thought about where I live. If I'm lucky, I'll get a chance to head over to my community pool today, and there won't be any cops there. Just a few young lifeguards who wouldn't know what to do if a confrontation consisted of something more than: Whose noodle is this?

When I cruise over to my local drug store, there won't be armed guards there to greet me, or frisk me, or follow me around the store.

Which begs the question: do you live in a neighborhood where there's a whole lot of policing going on? Or perhaps it's more like mine, where the people tend to police themselves? Am I living under a false sense of security? Recently, a pharmacy was knocked off for prescription drugs on Long Island, and four people were shot dead. It was a nice town. Should there have been an armed security guard posted there? Would it have averted a tragedy? Thoughts?


  1. The problem with "nice towns" is the mobility of not-so-nice people. We should be able to asses the need for security based on statistical likelihood, but the stats need to be trustworthy. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that (especially) in big cities, violence statistics are inaccurate, intentionally fudged by police brass for political reasons.

    I wouldn't expect security at most locations in a safe neighborhood, but pharmacy robberies are becoming rather common. I live in a pokey little town that would be a wide spot on the map if not for a college. In the past ten years or so, we've had a handful of armed bank robberies, so it does happen. I wouldn't be surprised to see a guard at CVS, and I think our WalMart and Kroger NEED them; both stores have pharmacies near the exit,presumably for the benefit of the sick and disabled. They make me nervous; we have our share of desperate addicts.

  2. I agree that the pharmacy robberies are going to become more prevalent, as prescription drugs have an increasing street value, and addicts being what they's scary, because it can happen anywhere, even in our so-called "nice" towns...

  3. I live in a fairly small and quiet Florida neighborhood. Police don't patrol our area very often if at all. My family lives in a gated community where our "gate" is PVC pipe...not much for protection. However, we do have at least 4 families with a law enforcement member (all different departments) living on my street. But I'd feel just as safe if there was only one policeman living on my street.

    I agree with Suz how crime statistics can be inaccurate in larger cities, but it is especially true for the smaller communities as well. You almost never hear about the crime that happens in the city where I live and I think the residents there are oblivious to the crime that does happen. I've heard people go so far as saying that there isn't any crime here. Granted the crimes aren't homicide or armed robberies, but we have our car accidents and domestics. We did have an accidental shooting a few months ago and before that an officer was shot at. So its out there but I guess they're fairly insignificant when it comes to the news. Great question to spark a conversation!


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