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  • special conservators of the peace

    I bet the locals love this guy...

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...cd7_story.html

    Michael Youlen stopped a driver in a Manassas apartment complex on a recent night and wrote the man a ticket for driving on a suspended license. With a badge on his chest and a gun on his hip, Youlen gave the driver a stern warning to stay off the road.

    The stop was routine police work, except for one fact: Youlen is not a Manassas officer. The citation came courtesy of the private force he created that, until recently, he called the “Manassas Junction Police Department.”

    He is its chief and sole officer.

    He is a force of one.

    And he is not alone. Like more and more Virginians, Youlen gained his police powers using a little-known provision of state law that allows private citizens to petition the courts for the authority to carry a gun, display a badge and make arrests. The number of “special conservators of the peace” — or SCOPs, as they are known — has doubled in Virginia over the past decade to roughly 750, according to state records.

    Michael Youlen drives to a housing complex where he works as a private police officer in Manassas. (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)

    The growth is mirrored nationally in the ranks of private police, who increasingly patrol corporate campuses, neighborhoods and museums as the demand for private security has increased and police services have been cut in some places.

    The trend has raised concerns in Virginia and elsewhere, because these armed officers often receive a small fraction of the training and oversight of their municipal counterparts. Arrests of private police officers and incidents involving SCOPs overstepping their authority have also raised concerns.

    The Virginia legislature approved a bill Friday increasing the training and regulation of SCOPs. The private officers would now be required to train for 130 hours, up from 40 hours — less than the state requires for nail technicians, auctioneers and security guards.

    In neighboring D.C., a similar designation called “special police” requires 40 hours of training. Maryland officials leave instruction to the discretion of employers but have no requirements. Other states have similar systems.

    “There are a number of groups we regulate far more stringently than SCOPs carrying a gun,” said Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran, speaking prior to the passage of the bill.
    Independent and informal

    The conservator of the peace concept predates modern policing.

    It has its origins in English common law, and the first Virginia statute was enacted in 1860 to allow proprietors of “watering places” to protect their establishments.

    Michael Youlen patrols a housing complex where he works as a private police officer in Manassas. (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)

    The designation still retains some of that informality. No *authority regulates the conduct of SCOPs or addresses complaints against them, although a court can revoke their commissions. The state does not track the number of arrests they make or citations they issue.

    Most SCOPs patrol corporate campuses, work for neighborhood associations or perform code enforcement for counties or cities, but Youlen has pushed the model further by creating his own “department” and turning policing into an enterprise. He contracts his services to nine apartment and housing communities in the Manassas area. That’s up from one in 2012.

    SCOPs are free to call themselves “police” in Virginia, *although the new bill would *require court approval. Youlen recently dropped “police department” from the name of his operation, anticipating that lawmakers would restrict use of the term. It is now called Manassas Junction LLC.

    Youlen, who is a former police officer, said he sees his work as a complement to the Manassas force, not a replacement for it. He said he provides the type of intensive policing, hands-on engagement with the community and attention to small problems that the city simply doesn’t have the resources or manpower to provide.

    “I’m a part-time police officer and a part-time advocate,” Youlen said of his work. “And I would hope a part-time role model and steady security presence for these communities.”

    On the night Youlen wrote the suspended-license ticket, he pulled his black Ford Fusion with tinted windows out of the Colonial Village Apartments around 8 p.m. Youlen, 30, spends his shifts circulating among the communities he covers until the early hours of the morning.

    He deals mostly with loitering, traffic infractions, noise complaints, minor drug offenses and nuisances that can impact quality of life. He said he has never pulled his gun.

    At one point during another patrol, Youlen rolled up next to two mattresses that someone had propped against a tree in a townhome community. He said he would return later to investigate and possibly issue a citation to the violator.

    At another point, he checked in with the mother of a teen who had gotten into trouble with neighbors to make sure the boy was still in school and playing football. Youlen wore a black flak vest with the word “police” emblazoned across it as he talked to the woman.

    Youlen said he turns any felony-type incidents, such as *assaults, rapes or shootings, over to the Manassas police to handle, but if he does go to court he testifies and provides evidence in cases just as a municipal police officer would.

    Youlen said he was a police officer in upstate New York before spending several years on the Manassas force. He said he left to start a private investigator service and then became a SCOP after reading about a housing community in Stafford County called Aquia Harbour that had its own private police force.

  • #2
    Is that Monty?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Dinosaur32 View Post
      Is that Monty?
      Ha! I couldn't remember his name but that was who I was thinking of

      Comment


      • #4
        I haven't seen any of those up close, but I do know that they are definitely on the rise around here. They don't really seem to be operating in my county, though I do know that the local PD has had some negative experiences with one in particular, who goes all over the immediate area. He is a business owner and sought the certification to "protect his interests", but he's been playing Cop wherever and whenever he can get away with it. I think I read that he got in trouble with one of the local agencies and was detained by them while trying to do his thing when they rolled up on him with a civilian.

        In case any of you want to improve your reading skills, here is a nice long tome about the SCOP from the local place that trains/certifies them.
        Last edited by Waffles1981; 03-02-2015, 08:15 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Or possibly the fella who posted about his very real ride along. [emoji57]


          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
          Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

          Comment


          • #6
            My question ?
            Where are they getting ticket books at? Is it just a self printed form that they make up themselves or is it something from the state
            and why does the state give them stuff.Also are they tied into any state law enforcement database? Anyone that failed out of the academy can be a cop now. After all,they are patrolling their block. They are not paid but they are working on that..

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by btfp View Post
              My question ?
              Where are they getting ticket books at? Is it just a self printed form that they make up themselves or is it something from the state
              and why does the state give them stuff.Also are they tied into any state law enforcement database? Anyone that failed out of the academy can be a cop now. After all,they are patrolling their block. They are not paid but they are working on that..
              Probably self-printed/bulk-printed from the same sources that agencies use. Computerized ticketing systems in vehicles are becoming the norm, so they can just use one of those to do their bit, if they can afford it. None of them should have individual access to the same resources that LEOs have, but I do know that there are semi-official/official groups of them that are employed by state agencies/local governments who will connect them with some law enforcement resources and support, whatever that might mean.

              Comment


              • #8
                Not to worry...

                This trend will take a dive when litigation starts flying after either one of them uses excessive force, makes a false arrest, or dies & their family files a suit.
                This Space For Rent

                Comment


                • #9
                  We have the same kind of thing in Michigan - I was one while in college at a mall. Most malls in the state had them at one time and they were even armed (until the lawyer apocalypse) and everyone started worrying about getting sued. Most hospitals still have them. Most of the places that do still have certified officers have armed officers.

                  Here is the link that describes it:

                  http://www.michigan.gov/mcoles/0,160...413---,00.html

                  They were called Private Police, then changed to Security Police, and finally Police Authority.

                  Only difference is, they have ZERO authority off their employer's property UNLESS the original crime occurred on the property and they are being pursued and the suspect leaves the property. Where I worked, we were sworn in by the city and were authorized to write citations for parking violations that occurred on the property and we were issued ticket books by the PD. We had to attend a 3 week "academy" which basically covered criminal law, civil law, report writing, and defensive tactics. We had a FTO period (I can't remember exactly how long - month per shift?) when first hired and then another FTO period after the "academy". We were sworn in by the state by the same people that regulate real cops (MCOLES) at the conclusion of the "academy".

                  We had cars with red/blue lights, sirens, and cages. We had a LEIN/NCIC terminal and were able to check people for warrants, DWLS, etc. We also made traffic stops on property (without a gun - dumb!).

                  This is an example of a car at Northland which got rid of their department in 2008:

                  NPA.jpg


                  I don't know WTF they're doing in other states. Exercising any kind of police authority without proper training is dumb IMHO. I think we didn't receive nearly enough formal training in the "academy" but we had a really good FTO program which made up for the lack of training from the state. We worked really closely with the city PD which helped a lot and a few officers from the mall ended up going to the real academy and getting hired by the city.

                  This story makes me cringe.
                  Last edited by Aerohead; 03-02-2015, 10:00 AM.
                  Originally posted by RSGSRT
                  We've reached a point where natural selection doesn't have a chance in hell of keeping up with the procreation of imbeciles.
                  Why is it acceptable for you to be an idiot, but not acceptable for me to point it out?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not in Ca, thank God.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aerohead View Post
                      This is an example of a car at Northland which got rid of their department in 2008:

                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]12871[/ATTACH]


                      .

                      Are you sure that says Northland, not Montyland?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by btfp View Post
                        My question ?
                        Where are they getting ticket books at? Is it just a self printed form that they make up themselves or is it something from the state
                        and why does the state give them stuff.Also are they tied into any state law enforcement database? Anyone that failed out of the academy can be a cop now. After all,they are patrolling their block. They are not paid but they are working on that..
                        No different than some of the Pocono gated communities and colleges that have "public safety" with sworn officers under Act 501 and nothing more than a 235.
                        I don't answer recruitment messages....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AI_guy View Post
                          Are you sure that says Northland, not Montyland?
                          Unlike Monty, these people actually were 'law enforcement' for a department that actually existed and had actual training.

                          Although, some of them that worked there were just as bad, if not worse, than Monty.
                          Originally posted by RSGSRT
                          We've reached a point where natural selection doesn't have a chance in hell of keeping up with the procreation of imbeciles.
                          Why is it acceptable for you to be an idiot, but not acceptable for me to point it out?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The closest thing in California is the Stanford University police department. As I understand it, they are employed by Stanford, but their uniform and authority is that of Santa Clara County deputy sheriffs. There is an MOU in place between the sheriff and Stanford authorizing it. The deputies go through the academy, field training and everything else.

                            SF has people called Patrol Specials who are some sort of private, limited authority peace officers employed by businesses. Their uniforms are distinctly different from SFPD.
                            Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                            I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Stanford are Deputized by the Sheriff.
                              SF patrol specials get their authority from the city, and they are being edged out by lawsuits and the police dept, who oversees their training etc.

                              Comment

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