The COPS Office Announces a New Online Resource for Private Security and
Police Partnerships

screenshot of training videoThe COPS Office is pleased to announce that a new online training course, Team Up: Action Planner for Police–Security Partnerships, is now available for use by both law enforcement and private security managers. There is no charge for the training, which is available at

“We’re encouraged by the tremendous increase in police–private security partnerships we’ve seen over the past decade,” said the COPS Office Director Bernard Melekian. “These partnerships represent a natural extension of community policing. But we know that many agencies are missing opportunities to reap the benefits of these partnerships, both for improving homeland security and for fighting crime every day. This new training resource shows that police–private security partnerships are effective in promoting both homeland and hometown security, and it leads users through specific steps for making them successful.”

Under community policing, the police are encouraged to partner with a variety of stakeholders. Private security and public safety goals often intersect, and police and private security each possess significant and complimentary resources and skills.  Collaborations between these two fields have not only proven to be effective but are rapidly increasing in number and scope.

The number of private security professionals far exceeds those serving in the public sector—by a ratio of roughly three to one—and the 9/11 Commission noted that the private sector owns about 85 percent of the nation’s critical infrastructure.1 Because of this, private security often has information and resources that are not readily available to police but that can be shared through partnerships.  Private security also plays an important public safety role in our communities through security services provided to tourist attractions, major special events, business improvement districts, and residential neighborhoods and apartment complexes. The private security industry, and the millions of professionals employed within it, can and do play a vital role in helping police prevent and address criminal behavior. Over the past decade, the COPS Office has worked to support the development and enhancement of these partnerships in a variety of ways.

In January 2004 the COPS Office, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), ASIS International, and other professional private security associations co-sponsored a National Policy Summit on Private Security and Public Policing. More than 140 executive-level participants convened to discuss the current state of law enforcement and private security (LE-PS) partnerships and future directions. The summit developed a number of policy recommendations critical to an effective LE-PS collaboration at the local and national levels. These recommendations included the need for a formal commitment of cooperation between the leaders of LE-PS partnerships, increased funding for additional research and training on relevant issues, and the importance of prioritizing these collaborations for local and national agendas.3 The full summit report, available on the COPS Office website, details the working groups’ discussions and outlines national strategic recommendations for existing partnerships and the formation of new ones.

As a result of one summit recommendation, the Operation Partnership initiative was formed through additional support by the COPS Office.5 Operation Partnership was tasked with examining the current state of private security and police partnerships and documenting and categorizing active partnerships across the country; identifying the opportunities, strengths and weaknesses of these efforts; and creating a learning guide for future collaborations.2 The resulting guide, Operation Partnership: Trends and Practices in Law Enforcement and Private Security Collaborations, identified over 450 LE-PS partnerships in the United States.5 This report also explores key trends in private/public partnerships, various partnerships’ organizational arrangements, the types of partnership activities and programs, key components, and recommendations for future directions.

The COPS Office remains committed to not only promoting the value of these partnerships, but also to providing support and resources to help them succeed. Our latest resource, Team Up: An Action Plan for Police–Security Partnerships,6 was developed by the Law Enforcement–Private Security Consortium (LEPSC) through funding provided by the COPS Office.  The LEPSC is administered by the Institute for Law and Justice (ILJ) in partnership with Ohlhausen Research and iNamecheck, LLC. 

This innovative online resource provides police and private security partners with assistance in establishing a new partnership or sustaining an existing one, while helping them to create a customized action plan. The training course is divided into three sections: Introduction to Partnerships, Starting a Partnership, and Strengthening a Partnership. This interactive tool is designed to help potential or active partners document the partnership’s mission (which can be help obtain support for the partnership), identify useful resources, and outline the processes and activities required to establish and manage the partnership.6

Throughout the training, examples from across the country are provided from successful partnership initiatives between private security and the police. At the conclusion of the training, users can print or email an automated report that serves as a working plan of how to proceed with their own partnerships. This free interactive resource is available through

-Rob Chapman and Nazmia Alqadi
The COPS Office

-Barbara Webster and Tom McEwen
Institute for Law and Justice, on behalf of the Law Enforcement-Private Security Consortium


1 Law Enforcement–Private Security Consortium. Operation Partnership: Trends and Policies in Law Enforcement and Private Security Collaborations, p. 10. Washington, D.C.: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 2009.

2 Chapman, Robert. “A Public-Private Partnership on Security,” in Security Management, Second Edition, in ed. Edward J. Krueger. Itasca, IL: National Safety Council, 2010: 335–342.

3 International Association of Chiefs of Police and Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. National Policy Summit: Building Private Security/Public Policing Partnerships to Prevent and Respond to Terrorism and Public Disorder. Washington, D.C.: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 2004.

4 Law Enforcement–Private Security Consortium. Law Enforcement–Private Security Consortium. 2010. (accessed January 3, 2010).

5 Law Enforcement–Private Security Consortium. Operation Partnership: Trends and Policies in Law Enforcement and Private Security Collaborations. Washington, D.C.: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 2009.

6 Team Up: Action Plan for Police–Security Partnerships

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