I look forward to the day when we don’t hear anything more about the Dakota Access Pipeline. The most current issue to arise concerning the pipeline saga has to do with Energy Transfer Partners (the company that built the pipeline) and their usage of TigerSwan– a North Carolina-based security firm that is apparently not licensed in the state of North Dakota.
According to the Bismarck Tribune, a June 12th complaint from attorneys for the North Dakota Private Investigative and Security Board claim they had denied an application for licensure from the security firms founder, James Patrick Reese. The complaint alleges that TigerSwan “illegally continued to conduct private investigative and/or private security services in North Dakota following the denial of their application of licensure.” And according to the complaint, TigerSwan continues to provide armed security services in North Dakota. An allegation that the security firm denies. Nevertheless, the North Dakota Private Investigative and Security Board are seeking an injunction and administrative fines against both TigerSwan and James Patrick Reese.
While it appears there are a lot more questions to be settled through the judicial system in regards to this case, there is a more fundamental question that comes to my mind as a result of it. Why should property owners be required to have licensed security to protect their property?
The question is a serious one. And I would certainly respect those who disagree with my position. But property owners should not have to seek permission (i.e. licensure) from the government for those they would turn to in assisting to protect themselves or their property.
The North Dakota Private Investigative and Security Board’s own web site explains that the “process takes approximately 30 business days if all the necessary applications, fees and documentation has been received”. That’s quite a long wait if pressing circumstances arise.
Now, someone will inevitably argue that’s why we have local law enforcement. And there’s some merit to that. But are local law enforcement typically going to provide private security detail for a property owner? Probably not. They usually respond to investigate crimes, not prevent them.
In the case of Energy Transfer Partners and the Dakota Access Pipeline, law enforcement officers went above and beyond. They did a tremendous job. But having said that, Energy Transfer Partners shouldn’t have to jump through bureaucratic red tape and wait 30 business days to do something every property owner should have the inherent right to do… protect themselves, their employees, and their property.
Note : Failure to comply with North Dakota’s laws regarding licensed security is a Class B Misdemeanor.
1. http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/dakota-access-security-firm-operated-in-nd-without-license-board/article_71b32e07-0b58-54f6-a6e1-e60c085051db.html 2. http://www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t43c30.pdf#nameddest=43-30-05