Fourth Amendment on Private Police Essay Example

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3Fourth Amendment on Private Police

Fourth Amendment on Private Police

Application of provisions within the constitution governing criminal procedure has been questioned with regard to cases involving security personnel. In case a security officer or guard is purely private, then constitutional provisions are not applicable. If the security officer or guard is a state actor then the Fourth Amendment’s provisions against unreasonable seizures and searches as well as other constitutional provisions apply (Button, 2002). Expanding the provisions of the Fourth Amendment to include private security personnel will encourage the security officers to be more vigilant since they know they are protected by the constitution. Security will be heightened and the private security personnel can search and seize things that could otherwise be used in committing offences. It will be an incentive to the security personnel to be more alert and ensure the environments that they are in charge are very secure. When the security officers know that they have the same power as per the Fourth Amendment provisions, it will boost their morale and make them ensure security is observed. If the security guards have no power to search and seize according to the Fourth Amendment, then some of the crimes and drug peddling cases will go on unabated (Scheb & Scheb, 2012). However, expanding prohibitions of the Fourth Amendment to include private security personnel can be used negatively to harass and intimidate innocent citizens with no criminal intention. The fourth amendment expansion can be misused by the security personnel in carrying out unnecessary searches and curtail free movement of people within their jurisdiction. Abuse of the Fourth Amendment provisions will be the greatest challenge when it is expanded to include the private security personnel.


Button, M. (2002). Private Policing. Portland, Or.: Willan Pub.

Scheb, J.M. & Scheb, J.M. II. (2012). Criminal Procedure, New York: Cengage Learning.