The history of company police in North Carolina spans about 125 years. As special law enforcement problems arose, which could not adequately be handled by existing officers, new law enforcement agencies were created to handle these problems.
The officers of these agencies were called ‘special policemen’ and were authorized for railroads in 1871, for electric and water power companies and construction companies in 1907 and for manufacturing companies in 1923. The power to appoint these special police officers rested with the Governor until 1971, when the special and company police were transferred to the Department of Justice by the State Government Reorganization Act.
In many small towns and communities, the special policemen were often the only police officers available to assist the county sheriff and his deputies. As crime rates have risen and with the economy there have been statewide budget cuts, leaving Police and Sheriff’s Departments short staffed. Company Police Agencies are becoming more popular to meet the demands of security for residential and business owners.