The Private Security Industry in The United States of America

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The private security industry was defined by White (2015) as the industry which is composed of companies that primarily engage in providing guard and patrol services such as parking security, guard dog, bodyguard, and security guard services among others. Despite the fact that there are several federal laws which have been formulated and implemented in order to help in the regulation of the activities of various companies found in the private security industry, there are still some various agencies and bodies which are mandated with regulating these private security companies. These agencies are hired by the government of the United States of America to carry out agency-specific regulations and policies. These agencies, as described by Kalesan, Mobily, Keiser, Fagan & Galea (2016), are provided with very instrumental policy-making powers as well as disseminate rules and procedures which are directly linked to their fundamental missions.

According to the article by White (2015), it was stated that there are three executive departments which are involved in the provision of regulations, policies and rules concerning the management of the private security industry. These department include the Department of Defense, Department of Justice as well as the Department of State. Based on the fact that the USAID, which was created by the Congress have the implementing factors which use the services of the private security industry, it is therefore also considered as another agency which is involved in the provision of regulatory policies that are related to the utilization of the private security services. In order to supplement the efforts of different federal departments which are involved in the regulation of the private security sector, the federal government of the United States of America through the attempts of coordinating their utilization through the Memorandum of Understanding of 2007, 2008 and 2010.

How These Agencies Investigate the Regulatory Compliance

Despite the fact that the agencies involved in the regulation of the private security department have the ultimate role of ensuring that the private security companies abide by the stipulated laws and provisions of the federal government of the United States of America, the approaches which they use in investigating and determining the regulatory compliance of these companies do often vary from one department to the other. White (2015) in their study stated that the regulatory compliance within the private security industry could be determined through cross-checking and evaluating the services which are being offered by a specific company. For example, in a situation whereby the company is involved in the delivery of substandard services, its level of compliance with the provided federal laws about the private security agencies can be questioned.

According to the research study conducted by Santonen & Paasonen (2017), it was determined that some of the most common approaches that the federal government can use in ensuring compliance among the private security organizations are through monitoring of the problems and weak extraterritorial enforcement, use of diplomatic repercussions as well as offering protection to the political support base from violation. The principles of the political theory, as described by Kalesan et al. (2016), stated that the government has the role of responding to any situation which can affect the political stability of its jurisdiction. For that matter, the federal government, through its assigned departments, will ensure that all of the private security companies do not offer any political threat to the country. Therefore, in a situation whereby these companies fail to observe the provided regulations and policies, they will be subjected to nonnegotiable consequences as contained in the federal statutes.

Effects of OSHA, ADA, FFLS Act and the Sexual Harassment Act on the Private Security Industry

The main objective of OSHA is to ensure safety and healthy workplaces for every working citizen in the United States of America. According to Santonen & Paasonen (2017), OSHA has enabled different industries within the private sector, including the private security industry, to bring about the workplace improvements through the application of the result-oriented enforcement efforts, setting of standards as well as compliance assistance. The strict provisions of OSHA have enabled the private security companies to improve on their level of compliances. The provisions of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) have been able to cause some significant impacts on the management of various companies within the private security industry. Through its provisions, the private security industry has been able to consider employee even those who have qualified for the advertised jobs but disabled (Kalesan et al., 2016). This has helped in ensuring that there is inclusivity during employment without discriminating against individuals based on their physicality.

Despite the fact that the private security industry is also involved with the provision of security services to the assigned locations, they are prohibited from using guns. According to Santonen & Paasonen (2017), the provisions of Federal Firearm License Act (FFL Act) prohibit the private security guards from carrying guns while on or off duty. These provisions have to some extent affected the private security industry negatively since their officers could not offer security services in a very hostile condition. The Sexual Harassment Act prohibits different forms of workplace discriminations based race, color, religion, national origin and sex. These provisions have made the private security industry to consider balancing the gender of their employees. Such provisions have enabled the industry to encourage inclusivity in all of its activities.


Kalesan, B., Mobily, M. E., Keiser, O., Fagan, J. A., & Galea, S. (2016). Firearm legislation and firearm mortality in the USA: a cross-sectional, state-level study. The Lancet, 387(10030), 1847-1855.

Santonen, T., & Paasonen, J. (2017). Evaluating the adequacy of private security industry regulation in the United States of America. Security journal, 30(2), 585-604.

White, A. (2015). The impact of the private security industry act 2001. Security Journal, 28(4), 425-442.

October 30, 2023


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