Gentlemen,

I recently came across a story in California. While it may not directly be related to gun issues, as a member of the Armed Intelligentsia I can’t help but recognize a slippery slope or hypocrisy and draw parallels to the plight of our own. “I know it when I see it.” (You might be a member of the Armed Intelligentsia if you know who famously said this.) And while I respect what police officers do and don’t want to be a cop basher, you have to wonder who justice really belongs to, the citizens or the ruling elite and their wealthy friends . . .

Anyway, Facebook has hired its own police officer who “wouldn’t be getting calls or issuing traffic citations.” Now if Facebook can hire law enforcement officers and choose which laws they enforce, maybe “assault weapons” owners in Connecticut might do the same? What if everyone in a certain neighborhood got a pot of money together and said we want to hire a police officer who only enforces the laws that we want him to. The point of a police force is that your tax dollars go to enforcing the laws whether you want them to or not. If you were a criminal and didn’t want police around, you can’t just choose to make them go away by not paying them.

Menlo Park Mayor Ray Mueller tried to address concerns by saying “The only way that you would have a conflict of interest is if someone tried to exert influence over our police force.” What do you think paying someone’s salary is? If someone at Facebook were to disagree with what the officer was doing, couldn’t they just withdraw funding and make that person go away?

This is a dangerous precedent that Facebook is trying to set. If corporations can directly hire law enforcement and decide which laws they are to enforce, they are just one more step removed from the people they are allegedly there to protect. And while it kind of goes without saying, this will all be largely unnecessary once CA becomes a shall issue state and citizens are able to carry in the workplace. This is something I have been thinking of all day and hope you can share this with your readers. Cheers and keep up the good fight.

Very respectfully,

Sergio from California

69 Responses to Facebook Buys An Armed Cop

  1. Corporations or groups of people hiring their own security forces?

    It’s called “mercenaries”, “private security contractors”, or “rent-a-cop.”

    • On a serious note, where I live it’s not uncommon for businesses to hire off-dity police to provide uniformed security. This really doesn’t seem like a big deal.

      If a company was going to contract out all law enforcement for a city/town/whatever to a private company which would then set the rules for enforcement I could see a cause for concern. In this case it just seems like they are using a law enforcement officer to provide security on their private property, and in accordance with their business policies. Doesn’t seem much different to me from what a lot of businesses already do.

      • Hiring security and paying a cop’s salary are two completely different things. Security guards observe and report, police enforce law. When you control a cop’s wages, you control him, and he has much more influence and power than a lowly rent-a-cop

      • As I read it, the cop will not be on private property. He/she will be operating out of a “storefront” NEAR the company’s “campus”, which “storefront” will also house code enforcement officers and other public employees. And the cop will be conducting “drills” at area schools. This ain’t no cop-moonlighting-as-security- guard deal. I didn’t see anything about not writing traffic tickets, would like more info on that.

      • It is a big deal when private companies hire “off duty” cops. Why should a government employee be allowed to use the power of the state to enrich himself? If he wants to work security, that is fine. But he should not have arrest powers or be allowed to use any equipment that signifies that he is a government employee.

    • There’s a point when those public safety officers are no longer protecting the safety of the public and, instead, loose their sense of purpose and protect only those in charge. That’s when they no more valuable than a large sheet of paper with concentric rings and a dot in the center.

      If they want to accept their pay out of our taxes, they should know where their checks are coming from. If they decide instead to be paid by managerially incompetent narcissistic sociopaths, …… it’s their choice, but then WE will be playing by a different set of rules, too. If they want respect, they have to EARN it, like everyone else. They should be rated on how they act, NOT how they act out their childhood abuse of having been raped by their uncle.

      • no longer protecting the safety of the public and, instead, loose their sense of purpose and protect only those in charge.

        Sounds like Chicago (or any other libtard progressive hive).

  2. this is great, it opens the door to create your own police force and militias. dont like liberal laws? easy, start your own army, when liberal police forces come to enforce their laws. simply stop them in their tracks.

  3. Wonder how Shannon Watts feels about this since the Brady Campaign called her out as a dumb ass for her damp FB squib?

  4. The way things are going in Oakland, Google might need to hire an entire company of mercenaries… this doesn’t surprise me at all and is only the beginning, I’m sure.

    Powerful business interests and syndicates find ways of getting preferential access to the police, it is inevitable given the nature of government and capitalism as we know it. More money means more important, period.

  5. As someone who’s recently visited LA ( sans his gun) , I noticed that all the good neighborhoods already use their own private security force. Every place from the local grocery store on up’s got a guy in a security uniform out and about.

    It seems a telltale sign youre in the wrong place in CA is when the only security force nearby is named “LAPD”. Out there, one who can doesn’t rely on government provided security any more then us US citizens in Shall Issue America.

    • Security guards are NOT police. In North America, they only have the powers of civilians to make arrests, etc. Their role is to protect private property, and people, or maintain order around a specific property, like any other civilian. Repeat: SECURITY GUARDS ARE NOT POLICE! There are some private police, like Canada’s railroad and nuclear power plant officers, but their scope is strictly limited to the property of that particular infrastructure. But here we have a private company footing the bill for community peace officers–not good. This is a very bad precedent, and opens the possibility to gross abuses.

    • Disagree–it’s more than that. He’s got LEO authority, too, gonna use it at the local schools according to the article.

    • The problem with that, is that he truly is a “rent a cop”. He has all the protection of the government and his fellow thugs law enforcement professionals. He’s not some $10 an hour Paul Blart, he has the same frightening freedom to do as he please as the rest of the POST certified rogues in the Bay Area.

      • Yes, plus peace officers have some protection from liability in cases of false arrest. When you have a private entity paying the salaries and expenses of police forces, you have an extreme potential for abuse. This is a dangerous step away from Peelian principles of impartiality, and has no place in a 21st Century pluralistic, democratic society like America. If, say, Mark Zukerberg pulls an Oscar Pistorius, which way do you think the police investigation will go? Legislators in California should be proactive, and forbid private funding of police forces outright. And that should include forbidding off-duty officers from moonlighting as security.

  6. 2 posts in a row. A non story. Rich company buying protection/influence. It’s happening everywhere.

  7. Private police forces and a weak central government were commonplace in America in days gone by. Railroads, coal mine owners, etc, had uniformed “police” and “militia” units that answered only to them.

    When you lived in a company town were paid in company money and could only shop at the company store and if you objected the company police came to correct your attitude you lived with real tyranny. Not the hyperbolic tyranny we live with today.

    And God help you if you were Chinese or another minority.

  8. Great FB is paying the wage but who is paying his pension, health, disability? Providing the squad, maintenance on the squad, etc etc?

    Sounds like that is on the tax payer, and if that’s the case I would be pissed. Why as a tax payer would I be subsidizing anything for a private company?

  9. OK, guys, let’s not go off the deep end on this one…

    I do lots of traveling for my job and as a result work in all different kinds of places. I can be at a middle school, a food manufacturing plant, a water pumping station, an office building, and a military base all within the same week…

    Armed officers and armed security is way more common, even at private locations, than you’re making it out to be.

    Even the grocery that my family and I shop at has a Sheriff deputy that pulls security detail on the weekends. Full uniform, it’s no big deal, he is a totally cool dude.

    He is there to watch the place, not lay down the law as the Kroger Corporation sees fit.

    Hell, he saw me wearing my “5.56 x 45mm” tshirt one day and gave me a thumbs up.

  10. “you have to wonder who justice really belongs to, the citizens or the ruling elite and their wealthy friends”

    If you are still wondering in this day and age, then you don’t get it..

  11. Interesting – this would probably be unconstitutional in Washington State:

    SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

    There are many security guards working in Washington, but I don’t believe any of them are armed (with possible exception of armored cars). The Facebook deal looks like it wouldn’t work here.

    • I agree with you. I never see armed guards at any business or corporate campus like Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, Costco, Etc. I do know that you can pay off duty police to be at your event. There was an issue with King County sheriff not allowing their off duty officers to work a event called “FreakNight”. In past years the event had “assaults, a reported rape and many drug overdoses, the fire department couldn’t keep track of the number of medic units called to the scene.” They were told “All they have to do is call 911. It’s simple. If they want a police response, they call 911,”

  12. From the link that nobody seems to be reading:

    Menlo Park police Chief Robert Jonsen called it a “benchmark in private-public partnerships” that will result in a highly visible patrol in the Belle Haven neighborhood, an area that has a lower socioeconomic status than the rest of the city and a higher crime rate.

    My take is this, that FB, which has an office is a shitty area, instead of allowing its employees to defend themselves they are trying to have veil of security via security theater. The city, which is mostly broke, CA which has pension issues up the wazoo, is happy to do this deal because it removes one person off their police pension and salary roles at least for 3 years.

    The intellectual elites in CA are scared of the community where they are located. Instead of spending money to improve the surrounding community, they are spending it on the police.

    I am sure there is a lot hypocrisy you can find in this whole situation if you try just a little bit.

    One thing, which is BS, this officer will not be enforcing whatever laws they feel fit to enforce, they are funding a police substation, what that already existed, simply closer to FB — so, should the shit hit the fan on the FB campus, they will be a few minutes closer.

  13. Guys, this ISN’T a security guard, this is a “full-time sworn police officer” according to the article. This sets a very dangerous precedent. Many of these cities and towns are already beholden to large corporations, now by letting one buy their own police officer don’t be shocked when we start seeing this happen in other places. If Facebook is worried about security then hire security guards, or pay more taxes to the town. They should not be allowed to hire their own police officer. I also find it extremely odd that no resident spoke out about this at meeting. I bet that no one in the town KNEW this was being discussed at the meeting.

  14. Isn’t this per definiton a mercenary?

    Before people come up with the “hiring security is normal”, this isn’t. You din’t hire police, they are there constantly to catch people who fvck up, not only those people you want.

  15. Much ado about absolutely nothing. This happens every week in probably every town in America. Ever seen uniformed cops handling traffic duties when large events – churches, concerts, etc. – let out? They are there because a company is paying them to be there. Ever see a cop in uniform working stationary security outside a hotel, near a bar, grocery store, etc. during the wee hours of the morning? Someone paid them to be there and it wasn’t the city. Do you think those uniformed officers are there to enforce every possible law in the book in that location? Absolutely not – they will have been instructed to keep traffic moving (so ignore some moving violations in order to achieve that) or to scare the bad guys away (and that means not doing some other things that would disable their performance of that task).

    So Facebook – or any company – wants the city to add a cop to a specific location and maybe do some additional outreach to the business, schools, etc. in the area. Cities response would have been: we agree it’s a great idea, but we can’t pay for it. So the company pays for the uniformed officer to be there.

    Is it preferential treatment achieved because someone with lots of money has it to spend for that extra level of assistance? Yes, it is. That is sort of how the system works. It is not necessarily fair or equitable or maybe a lot of things, but it’s certainly not evil nor a harbinger of bad things to come.

    • What about being able to stay in touch with friends without paying through the nose for phonebills (and you can see them too)?

      I wouldn’t call that repulsive, the rest is pretty much repulsive.

  16. “…you have to wonder who justice really belongs to, the citizens or the ruling elite and their wealthy friends.”

    Uhh, that would be the second choice. This is simply a continuation to the logical conclusion of the aristocracy’s ability to hire private guards and private armies. OF COURSE they should be able to buy their own cop – they are REALLY SPECIAL! and you peasants can just shut up and eat your cake.

    Anyone interested in building a guillotine?

  17. In PA there is the Nightwatchman’s Act. Private security can be sworn in and have the ability to enforce Title 18 Crimes Code. A few private developments and resorts I live near do this to give their private security more ‘teeth’. They, like municipal police have done some dumb stuff over the years but meh, no biggy.

  18. The way I see it, the company suggested a new police position and gave the city money to fund it.

    While more than a tidge strange, I don’t quite see it as buying the police, or even one officer.

    Who here would object were Donald Trump or the Koch brothers to give money to NYC with the contractual stipulation that it was to fund internal affairs and probes into unnecessary shootings?

    It sure is strange, though. Oh – Potter Stewart.

    • Sounds to me like the same kind of deal that universities have had going forever with endowed faculty positions.

      Some rich person or company creates a fund that pays for the position in perpetuity or for a set number of years, and in return they get their name attached to something that everyone perceives as good. The moneybags can create a few stipulations — like reserving the endowed position for people who teach or research a particular subject — but they don’t get to show up and interfere with anyone’s job. Once the endowment is created, it’s permanent; they may have created the purse and filled it, but they don’t hold its strings and they don’t have the legal power to empty it.

  19. After reading the linked article, I think this is a great idea. A private entity wants a better police presence in their area, and have chosen to provide the department with additional funding to make it happen. Said private entity has no (explicit) power or discretion over the actual police or the individual officer, and can only suggest what sort of crimes are bothering them.

    It would be like a crime ridden neighborhood getting together and funding a local cop shop out of their own pockets because their city is broke, and they want to make sure their area is policed well.

  20. Agreed this happens everywhere all the time. I have personally hired police for traffic duty and given them instructions on what to do. But that is only because in our jurisdiction and for liability purposes, I cannot use volunteers to control traffic on a public roadway.

    But I do understand the outrage at private payment for selective enforcement. Let’s take this to the next two levels:

    Level 1) Pay for an extra cop becase law enforcement is overloaded and underfunded and typically offenses of this type are not pursed by the department.

    Level 2) Pay for a extra judge & state prosecutor because the judicial system is overloaded and underfunded and typically offenses of this type are not prosecuted.

    Level 3) Pay for an extra prison because the prison system is overloaded and underfunded and typically those convicted of offenses of this type are typically serving on 10% of the sentence.

    Can we really separate one from the other two? They are all cut from the same cloth.

    • In re-reading my post I realized there is a fourth level that is already in wide spread use around the country:

      Level 4) Start a PAC and contribute to the campaigns of legislators that will change the laws in the ways you suggest.

  21. Corporations hiring cops has been happening since the invention of corporations and cops. It’s nothing new. In NYC today, NYPD cops in unis stand guard at many Manhattan banks. It’s the most boring job in the world and the cops doing it are happy to talk to someone, anyone — I usually converse with them about guns.

    There’s no issue of divided loyalties. Cops are for themselves. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • Let’s not paint that brush too broadly, please. Not all lawyers are exclusively out for themselves. I gave an LA defense attorney an attack of conscience after she said some ridiculous things about an attempted murder case.

      • Not all lawyers are exclusively out for themselves.

        The only ones who aren’t — maybe — are public defenders, and you sure as hell do not want to be represented by one of them if you can avoid it.

        Trust the profit motive. Lawyers who like to make a pile of money will work their asses off to do it, and their clients benefit.

  22. You are over-reacting and/or did not read the article closely.

    Facebook will not be hiring any police officers, they are giving the city funds to hire an officer to do community policing, truancies, etc in the larger community as a whole.

    This is no where near what you seem to think: a Facebook Police Officer who obeys only Zuckermann and Associates.

    General police militarization is a much more dangerous issue.

    • This. The blog post DEEPLY mischaracterizes what’s going on here. It’s either ignorant or dishonest.

      • Dishonest. Inflammatory. Sensational. Truthy.

        Take your pick. Whichever, the bottom line is that this article, especially its headline, fundamentally misrepresents what’s really going on.

        So much for truth.

  23. I don’t see anything in the linked article that indicates this officer will be anything other than a sworn officer, who has all the same duties as any other officer. They are just footing the bill for an officer to be based out of a substation in a bad neighborhood. It’s really no different than donating money to the police force.

  24. So we hate that our tax money goes to pay cops,the old I pay your salary ,now when a company says , we’ll give you the money to hire one, we hate that too……

  25. apparently ‘all our users are a bunch of dumb fuckers’-Zuckerberg never heard of the concept of private security…

  26. The first day in Criminal Law courses, it is pointed out that law enforcement starts to protect the property of the rich. A trickle down of their work benefits the rest of society.

    The Cops serve the rich first then the rest of us .

    If you doubt me, piss off the rich people in your jurisdiction and see how long you last.

  27. $200K a year for ONE STINKING FLATFOOT!!!! That’s insane. Dude squeaks by with a HS diploma. Spends 20 weeks getting indoctrinated in the “Us vs them” academy and then gets to suck $200K a year out of the economy while being allowed to ignore the law and abuse society? What a racket.

    • I take it you’ve never run your own business. The guy’s salary is probably only something like $60k/year; the rest is worker’s comp insurance, health insurance, taxes, pension payments, supplies & equipment, training, maintenance, etc. Employees are expensive.

  28. What do you expect when it comes to selective enforcement ???..The guy with the highest position in the country, concerning law enforcement – Eric Holder, just told the attorney generals of the United States that they don’t have to enforce any laws that they don’t agree with….WTF???….When the guy in the highest position in the country says this, what do you expect ?…It’s just another example of the Obamanation Administration thumbing their noses at the constitution & the laws of our land………MOLON LABE

  29. One step closer to Corporate Extraterritoriality. (see link) I know I’m a giant nerd, but I’m a freedom loving nerd. Shadowrun minus the magic is a pretty good estimation of some of the BS we can expect in the future. I see LoneStar being a thing within 20 years. With Detroit in the crapper they disband the police and issue a private contract to a PMC to enforce the law under a Long Term Service Agreement. It would be easier to threaten a CEO with pulling a contract than it would to tell all of your citizen/police that their pensions are void because you were financially irresponsible.

    http://shadowrun.wikia.com/wiki/Extraterritoriality

  30. Disneyland hires (or pays for) several Anaheim officers during their open hours. NBC studios always has an (on duty) Burbank Police Officer during the taping of the Tonight Show, several other conglomerates do the same in Calif. I don’t see this as being much different. The officer at FB would be most concerned with trespassers, protesters and related property crimes. Maybe a Dom. Violence between an employee or something, but I don’t see much opportunity to abuse or select which enforcement can be taken by a cop in the lobby of FB headquarters. . .

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