Private Security Reportedly Booming In Detroit, But Not An Option For All

AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File

In 1987, the movie Robocop predicted Detroit would be a failed state by 2043. As it’s only 2019, the filmmakers weren’t that far off in their prediction.


The Detroit of today isn’t about to be saved by a cybernetic cop back from the dead. Oh, they could use Robocop, but it’s not an option.

However, those who can afford to are turning to the private sector for help.

When Detroit filed for bankruptcy in 2013 and made major budget cuts, it set off a wave of police officers leaving the force to find better-paying opportunities in other cities. The resulting police shortage and ongoing retention problem has brought another wave — of private security companies.

It’s become a booming industry here in recent years, with the largest contractor, Securitas, reporting 25% year-over-year growth since the city’s bankruptcy.

Another successful player in the business is Threat Management Center, run by ex-Army paratrooper Dale Brown. His 60-person VIPER force serves a client roster of over 5,000 private citizens and 100 businesses. Altogether, he said, the company brings in about $2 million a year.

Those who can afford it are turning to private security for protection.

And, well, it seems to be doing the job. Brown argues that the goal of his company is to set the conditions to prevent violence. “We deter violent criminal behavior by projecting strength. So our vehicles have all white strobe lights. Our vehicles are black and chrome,” Brown told Vice.

Look, I have no issue with them existing and making a buck. If people can afford to pay them, so be it.

Yet I’m also wondering how many of the people paying folks like Brown to keep them nice and safe also oppose the right to keep and bear arms? Detroit tends to vote for anti-gun candidates, by and large, so the odds are good that some, if not most of Brown’s clients support gun control.


And what of it?

It strikes me as hypocritical to hire a private security company that has armed guards patrolling your neighborhood while you advocate for laws that would prevent people from having guns for personal protection.

Not everyone can hire private security. Most folks have to handle their own security concerns. They can’t outsource them.

For that, they need guns. Maybe not a lot of them, of course, but at least some. They can’t afford to have someone drive around their neighborhood in black and chrome vehicles with tactical vests trying to look like a bunch of bada**es. There’s little or no deterrent to crime for these folks, unfortunately, which means they’ll be the ones getting the door kicked in at three in the morning.

That also means they’ll be the ones needing to use that gun on the nightstand.

Unfortunately, many of those who would pay a private security company to keep their family safe are also the same people who would deny you the ability to do the same for yourself.

Private security is all fine and well if you can afford it. It’s just not an option for the vast majority of us.

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