EXERCISE #1 – SECURITY OPERATIONS AND THE LAW
The “Scope of Legal Authority of Private Security Personnel” is a 1976 document written by the Private Security Advisory Council of the United States Department of Justice to identify for private security operatives the various sources of legal authority and the legal issues with which they will be confronted while performing their various duties protecting organizational assets. “The Law of Arrest, Search, and Seizure: Applications in the Private Sector” is sample text chapter published by Elsevier that presents a comprehensive discussion of legal requirements for private security arrests and searches.
After reviewing these documents any other independently researched source, explain why the U.S. Courts continue to make distinctions between public law enforcement powers and private sector enforcement issues. Incorporate into your response why a practical knowledge of the law is important to the corporate security officer and the security director and what impact criminal and tort law has on a corporation.
EXERCISE #2 – SECURITY SCENARIO LEGAL APPLICATIONS
GROUP A – Students whose last name begins with the letters A-M must post initial responses to this discussion question. All others should read and comment as a part of their weekly engagement with their colleagues.
Police Moonlighting Civil Case: Cervantez v. J.C. Penney Company, 156 Cal. Rptr. 198 1978
This civil case was filed against an off-duty police officer employed by J.C. Penney in a secondary job as a store detective who made a warrantless arrest of two misdemeanor offenders for theft. The case was eventually dismissed and the offenders were released. The “moonlighting” officer and J.C. Penney were sued for false arrest, assault and battery, negligence, and other intentional torts.
This case has a number of implications for security directors who employ police officers in their security program operations. After reading the case, respond to the following:
(1) Succinctly summarize the facts of the case regarding the arrest and any subsequent judicial action, if any.
(2) Describe the issues the court had to settle and the legal arguments the plaintiff and the defendant advanced to the court in support of their respective positions.
(3) Explain the court’s ruling and its rationale.
(4) Identify the ways this type of organizational and personal liability can be avoided.
GROUP B – Students whose last name begins with the letters N-Z must post initial responses to this discussion question. All others should read and comment as a part of their weekly engagement with their colleagues.
-Negligence Case: Welsh Manufacturing v. Pinkerton, Inc.
Negligence could very well be one of the most frequently filed charges in civil court. It is a failure to exercise a “reasonable amount of care” in a situation that causes harm to someone or something. As an example, someone might do something in a careless manner, which a prudent person would not do, such as drinking alcohol and driving. Or, as another example, failing to act (omission) as a prudent person would, which results in harm to someone or something, such as a failure to pay obligations. In a security setting, negligence might be charged in a situation where an organization failed to provide a reasonable standard of care and someone or something was harmed. The reasonable standard of care may have involved the lack of adequate physical or procedural controls as discussed previously in this class, an emergency contingency plan that was not properly vetted, or perhaps the failure to exercise due care when hiring, training, supervising, and retaining security personnel.
This civil case involved a company that contracted security services to protect its assets. The contract was breached when it was determined the security company failed to properly scrutinize a security officer applicant’s background, or train or supervise the employee once hired. The plaintiff filed a tort complaint against the security company when it was discovered that this individual was involved in the theft of almost $200,000 in gold.
This case has a number of implications for security management officials regarding legal liability, using numerous resources to hire well, training the security staff, and providing the appropriate level of supervision required to ensure the protection of company assets. This case will be used as a basis for discussion of a number of issues over the next few weeks. For now, read the case and respond to the following questions:
(1) Succinctly summarize the facts of the case regarding the arrest and any subsequent judicial action.
(2) Describe the issues did the court had to settle.
(3) Explain the court’s ruling in each of those areas and its rationale.
(4) Describe the actual legal elements required to establish before a court to prove negligence.