Allan Pinkerton Essay

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Allan Pinkerton
Katrina Taber
Introduction to Security/CJS250
March 30, 2013
Patrick Coughlin

Allan Pinkerton Allan Pinkerton was and still is considered to be the forefather of the private security industry. Pinkerton realized there was a lack of crime prevention and control by the police. With this in mind, the Pinkerton Detective Agency was born. Pinkerton made many arrests and thwarted an assassination attempt. (Clifford, 2004) The Pinkerton Detective Agency employed the first ever female detective who was incredibly smart and very resourceful. (Geringer, 2013) Pinkerton and his agency paved the path for the private security industry seen in today’s society. (Encyclopedia Brittannica, 2013) There is not a doubt as to what Allan Pinkerton meant and still means to this industry. Allan Pinkerton saw that the local police were having trouble preventing crime and capturing criminals. Pinkerton decided that establishing a security company which could provide this valuable service could become a very profitable business. In 1855, Pinkerton was asked by several railroad companies to create a railway police department. This department was called the North West Police Agency. Pinkerton was also a deputy in the Cook County Sherriff’s Department and had a contract with the federal government to find counterfeiters and defend the Post Office against burglary. In 1858, Pinkerton created the Pinkerton Protective Patrol. This agency became known as “The Eye” which helped coin the term private eye. (Geringer, 2013) Through this agency, many businesses were found not to be secure and several reports of employee misconduct were noted. There were many people and businesses who believed Pinkerton’s tactics were less than legal. His agency was sued in 1873 for $10,000 for supposedly interrogating and threatening the wife of a suspected mail burglar without the legal right to do so. The Pinkerton Protective Patrol tarried on and successfully penetrated a group of miners called the Molly Maguires. The Molly Maguires were a group of miners believed to have killed and threatened mine owners. (Clifford, 2004) After this success, Pinkerton Detective Agency was formed. Amongst the successes of the agency was the apprehension of the main criminals, John Maroney and Leonard Chase, in the $700,000 Adams Express Company robbery in 1866. Pinkerton also managed to effectively prevent an assassination attempt on President Abraham Lincoln. Pinkerton, using the name E.J. Allen, was given the authority over an organization whose sole purpose was to gain military data from the states in the south during the Civil War. After the civil war he resumed his role in the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Pinkerton wrote several books commemorating his experiences which includes The Molly Maguires and the Detectives, The Spy of the Rebellion, Thirty Years a Detective, The General Principles of Pinkerton’s National Police Agency, and his tale of Lincoln’s trip to Washington. These were all written between 1861 and 1884. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013) The Pinkerton Detective Agency proven itself to be a valuable asset to law enforcement. Pinkerton wanted his agency to have integrity and be honest. With this in mind, he decided to make a promise to the people. His promise included not accepting bribes, no negotiating with criminals, help local police and law enforcement when necessary, not accept any cases which could cause a scandal, not accept any reward money, not to raise his client’s fees without their prior knowledge, and keep clients informed of the details in their case. Armed with these promises, Pinkerton created one of the most significant detective agencies known in the world. Pinkerton did not care if him or his agents had to travel far and wide, they would take the case as long as it fell within his guidelines and promises. In fact, he created a logo for his agency which was…