Policing in the United States and in much of the world has been undergoing a transformation for approximately the past 30 years in which it is no longer the exclusive realm of the state. A larger share of policing is being done by nongovernmental agencies and persons. For much of the 20th century, the public police were thought to have a monopoly on the provision of police services and protection of person and property, but by the end of the century privately employed police outnumbered public police officers by a margin of almost three to one.

Public Versus Private Policing

The public police can be defined generally as those authorized by the state to use force, to enforce the law, and to maintain order. They are also ...

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