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The Place of Private Police in Society: An Area of Research for the Social Sciences

Theodore M. Becker
Social Problems
Vol. 21, No. 3 (1974), pp. 438-453
DOI: 10.2307/799910
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/799910
Page Count: 16
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The Place of Private Police in Society: An Area of Research for the Social Sciences
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Abstract

Social scientists have directed little inquiry into the nature or extent of private police activity in the United States. This article undertakes an examination of private police within the general context of policing in order to pinpoint some of the factors that should be considered in creating a research design. The development, growth, and present day functions of private police are discussed, as well as the extent to which private police activity is regulated. These components are analyzed within a conceptual framework that focuses upon the interrelationships between the "public" and "private" sectors of law enforcement. Implications for police research and for society are suggested.

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