Oakland, CA is caught in a vice between public unions that won't budge on costs and a loss of control/moral authority brought on by outsourcing security.
Facing pressure to crack down on crime amid a record budget deficit, Oakland is joining other U.S. cities that are turning over more law-enforcement duties to private armed guards... Hiring private guards is less expensive than hiring new officers. Oakland -- facing a record $80 million budget shortfall -- spends about 65% of its budget for police and fire services, including about $250,000 annually, including benefits and salary, on each police officer. In contrast, for about $200,000 a year the city can contract to hire four private guards.. WSJ "Cash strapped cities try private guards over police"
Oakland's mistake is trying this on a city wide level where the unions can shut it down. The alternative is the New Orleans approach which allows local districts the option of setting a special tax to purchase private security. Here's a flyer for the Maple Area Residents "Security Tax District" (one of seven that have recently opted to set this up). John MacDonald at RAND conducted a study of similar "empowered districts" in Los Angeles.
In this report, RAND investigators examined the impact of business improvement dis- tricts (BIDs) on crime and youth violence in Los Angeles (L.A.). BIDs are self-organizing, local public-private organizations that collect assessments and invest in local-area service pro- visions and activities, such as place promotion, street cleaning, and public safety... Relying on a conservative estimate that compared the pre-post BIDs trends in reported crimes for only those areas that eventually adopt a BID, we found that the presence of a BID was associated with signiﬁcantly reduced rates of robberies and marginally signiﬁcant reductions in the rates of general violence.
In the early teens, the government privatization wave that began in the latter half of the 20th century became a tsunami. There have been numerous early studies that have pointed to global events, such as the ongoing ME guerrilla war that entangled US military forces in conflicts from Lebanon to Pakistan, as the cause for this change. However, the key driver -- one that only became apparent after the credit crunch and the associated recession of 2008-10 -- was that the world’s trust in the ability of the US government, at all levels down to the local, to meet its financial obligations had collapsed. Historians now consider this period as the turning point, the first time the US could actually be considered to be on the path to become a privately run state.
The details of how this happened have been well documented. As confidence collapsed (with the speed that only a completely unregulated global financial market could provide), all levels of the US government fell into varying levels of financial crisis. At first, the natural response by governments unable to raise new funds was to cut their budgets. However, global money managers quickly exposed that paltry effort for band-aid rather than the amputation that was needed. Unable to persuade a resolute marketplace and desperate to maintain a core set of services, governments at all levels began to sell off assets at an accelerating rate (those governmental bodies that delayed or refused to undertake these actions were put into receivership by the courts).
Roads, waterworks, military bases, schools, parks, and much more were quickly sold at appropriate prices. Attempts by government’s to retain ownership and rent them as multi-year leases were initially successful, but as the crisis deepened the market cooled to these schemes. Within a year of the start of what is incorrectly but popularly termed “The Great Theft,” outright sales of assets to global investment funds, corporations and individuals were by far more common. The speed of this transfer in ownership has been unmatched by any example prior or since. By 2015, less than three years after the panic began, upwards of 60% of all public assets from the national to the local levels were formally in private hands.