What are Security Police?

Jessica F. Black

Security police differ from public law enforcement agencies, but these services must also enforce local law because it is a position that is usually employed by a specific organization. The main purpose of obtaining security police services is to guard a designated area, building, or person. Some of the most common positions are park police, campus security, and secret service, which is the title primarily given in the United States. Other countries have organizations that provide a similar secret security detail. Legal authority varies depending on the organization and job description.

Secret Service agents are security police tasked with protecting high ranking officials.
Secret Service agents are security police tasked with protecting high ranking officials.

Park police are individuals who have been hired to oversee federal property that is typically open to the public, which may include national parks, historical sites, and monuments. Some jurisdictions may require specific experience, such as military or previous police work. If the applicant has been convicted of illegal drug use, a felony, or domestic violence, he may be disqualified from being hired in this particular security police field. There are also psychological, written, and physical examinations that must be successfully completed in order to acquire a position with the park police.

Universities, colleges, and some school districts may hire security police to protect the campus and other designated areas. His or her primary goal is to respond quickly and efficiently to campus incidents and protect students and faculty. Some public law enforcement agents work part-time as campus security, but due to minimal requirements there is a variety of applicants. Most positions require a high-school diploma and many prefer law enforcement experience.

The secret service and other similar agencies serve to protect government officials, national leaders, and visiting national figures. Security police that work directly for high ranking government officials usually undergo intense psychological and physical training. This position usually requires an impeccable background because agents are responsible for the well-being of a nation's most important personnel and are usually given top security clearance.

Security police positions differ in title and responsibilities depending on the country, but most positions require a strong job ethic, integrity, leadership, and the ability to perform well on a team. The individuals in this field aim to serve and protect various people or property and must be extremely dedicated to his or her profession. He or she is responsible for the safety of others and will usually work as a team to prevent harm or damage, and so must be able to follow the law as well as enforce it.

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