Private Security Continues to Invade American Towns

By Brandon Turbeville|Activist Post

A couple nights ago, I was sitting in front of the TV waiting on the local campaign coverage. Amid the mindless programming that passes for entertainment, and the irritating advertisements that follow it, a particular commercial caught my eye. This commercial, which initially resembled the trailer for COPS, depicted uniformed officers carrying out their nightly duties. One of these scenes involved an officer manhandling and arresting a suspect in what appears to be a public place. While my initial reaction was one of disgust for the glorification of the police state, I was somewhat more disturbed when I saw what this commercial was actually advertising. It was for a relatively new company named Advanced Protection Services, located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

APS is a private investigations and security contractor functioning in only two states, as of yet – South Carolina and Arizona. Its staff is drawn from former law enforcement and military personnel and its services range from property and nightclub security to community patrol.  The latter, which is stated clearly on the APS website, is particularly concerning due to the fact that, while there may be a place for private security firms, “community patrol” is a local police duty.  Interestingly enough, APS patrol cars are similar to Horry County and Myrtle Beach city police cars and have been seen in the area before.  Whether or not these vehicles were patrolling is unknown. However, a presence has clearly been established.
Nevertheless, without the benefit of local advertising, one might have been lulled into thinking that the new cars patrolling their neighborhoods with “Advanced Protection Services” painted on the side were merely the result of the creation of another specialized task force designed to harass the citizenry and waste taxpayer money. Unfortunately, while this would be bad enough, it appears that South Carolina has now been invaded by a miniature version of Blackwater Xe. This is a clear indication of the rise of the trend in private security firms engaging in work that was once done by local police who are allegedly accountable to the people. (See here as well.)

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