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Private Security, History Revisited?

Updated on October 2, 2012

History of Private Security

What is the History of Private Security in the United States, and why were they needed? At first glance most people could not tell you the first Private Security firm in the United States or why they started. But everyone knows the name of the first Professional Private Security Company in the United States, Pinkerton Security.

What caused the Pinkerton Security to come into existence? As with all business they filled a need. In the early 1900's railroads were suffering losses of capital from two sources. Robberies of their cargo, and passengers, and the general feeling of their customers and passengers that they were not safe. At that time the federal government could not pursue train robbers and local law enforcement did not have the manpower or funds to chase them outside of their jurisdictions.

The Pinkerton Security became noted for their pursuing and capturing these criminals for the railroads and with that reputation they began protecting stage coaches, Banks, and any other client that needed their protection.

How does this effect us today? With all Law Enforcement today, from the federal government to the local cities there are cutbacks in funds which results into, fewer police, longer response times, less prosecutions and reduction in time or the complete elimination of jail terms. As in the 1900's law enforcement is unable to keep up with the growing crime/gang problems. Regular citizens are having to learn to protect themselves. However, with the world as it is today most regular citizens do not know the laws, and are not trained to confront criminals.

As in the 1900's Private Security Professional are needed to fill in the gaps that Law Enforcement does not have the time or the capability to handle, and that the regular citizens do not have the time, the ability, or resources to deal with. We will see more individuals banding together to hire private security to protect their business and property. We will see large companies and in some case local law enforcement use Private Security to lower their costs and to protect their property and citizens from criminal activity.


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