Legal Challenges Confronting Private Security Operations: Administrative Searches
You accept a position as the Corporate Security Director for ACME Electronics, a company that manufactures different devices for a variety of well-known brands, including cell phones, cameras, camcorders, stereos, computers, tablets, video games, and more. At any given time, many of these products are fully assembled and stored at the plant awaiting shipment to the vendors. Also stored at the plant are the expensive components used to manufacture the devices.
During the first week of your new employment, you learn that significant device and component inventory shortages have occurred over the past year resulting in substantial company losses. You suspect widespread internal employee theft and have begun considering the various physical, procedural, virtual, and other security control options available to address the theft issue. One of the security controls you contemplate employing is an administrative search procedure, which is often referred to as a package control program. From your discussions with colleagues in the security profession, you know that some employers have instituted administrative, non-coercive, care taking search programs that have very effectively mitigated internal theft losses. You believe that such a program would achieve similar results for ACME Electronics if properly implemented at the ACME facility.
You meet with corporate attorneys to discuss the feasibility of initiating an ACME Electronics administrative search program because you know these programs are controversial and sometimes result in significant legal issues with considerable potential for civil lawsuits filed against the company and its security operatives. After a brief introductory discussion with the attorneys, the corporation’s Chief Counsel provides you with a case study dealing with the implementation of a new package control system at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City and asks that you become completely familiar with the legal issues presented in the court case; the legal positions the plaintiff and the defendant advanced to the court; and the court’s ruling and rationale, including the important features of the search procedure instituted by the hospital. The Chief Counsel also asks that before any further corporate group discussions take place regarding the implementation of an administrative search program at ACME Electronics, you evaluate how this court decision might impact your facility’s security operations and how the results of this court decision would be used in any administrative search policy proposals you make to the corporate executives.
Writing Assignment: After reading and evaluating Judge Edward Weinfeld’s opinion in Chenkin v. BELLEVUE HOSP. CTR., NYC, ETC., 479 F. Supp. 207 (S.D.N.Y. 1979), linked below, consider the case in its entirety, particularly the court’s opinion, and respond to the following:
(1) Write a strong introduction, first stating the purpose of the paper, then providing a succinct recitation of the significant facts in this case.
(2) Describe the issues related to the search program the court needed to resolve.
(3) Explain the positions that Chenkin and Bellevue advanced to the court regarding Chenkin’s claim that the hospital’s package control system was unconstitutional.
(4) Provide details of the court’s ruling and rationale and describe the important features of the Bellevue search procedure cited by the court in rejecting Chenkin’s claims.
Based on your understanding of the Chenkin v. Bellevue Hospital court case, in addition to the independent research you complete using at least two additional sources, respond to the following in preparation for your follow-up discussions with the Chief Counsel about the implementation of an administrative search program at the ACME Electronics facility:
(5) As a practical matter, evaluate how this court decision might impact security operations. Be specific and comprehensive.
(6) Explain how the results of this case would be used in any policy proposals you make to the corporate executives.
Court Case Link:
Chenkin V. Bellevue
You are employed on the staff of the Association for Municipal Cities, a “think-tank” organization of researchers who take on projects for various mayors and city managers. You specialize in research on the organization and operation of the police department. The League’s latest client is the City of Virtual.
The Virtual City Police Department was created 63 years ago. The department has emerged as one of the primary policing agencies in the state. It has become a modern police department with 155 sworn officers. There are 70 civilian employees appointed to positions ranging from clerical support to correctional officers to crime scene technicians. The department is considered “medium” size in the spectrum of police departments across the country. (The organizational chart is the same as the chart for Project 1.)
The Mayor of the City of Virtual, and the Chief of the Virtual City Police Department are considering adopting Conducted Energy Weapons, for use by the members of the Virtual Police Department. As there are significant concerns with these weapons, the Mayor and Chief have want to have a full understanding of the issues related to using Conducted Energy Weapons,
The Mayor has asked the League to prepare a literature-research position paper for her on moving forward with this proposal (or not) based on the pros and cons uncovered in your research. She may ultimately use this objective research document as part of her portfolio on the appropriate use of technology in support of public safety.
Conducted Energy Weapons are more commonly known by the brand name of TASER, which is sold by a company known as Axon. However, there are many manufactures making these weapons.
As this paper is intended for the Mayor to decide to implement a Conducted Energy Weapon program, so there is no reason to recommend a specific device for adoption.
Clearly, should the Mayor decide to adopt a Conducted Energy Weapon program, the Use of Force polices and training must be updated. This also does not need to be discussed in the paper.
As a member of the staff of the Association for Municipal Cities, you have been assigned to prepare a research paper for the Mayor of Virtual City on implementing a Conducted Energy Weapon program for the Virtual City Police Department. She has asked that you present both the pros and cons as objectively as possible.
Your personal recommendation is not part of this research report.
In this instance, the cost is not an issue.