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Private police carry guns and make arrests, and their ranks are swelling

Private police carry guns and make arrests, and their ranks are swelling

Michael Youlen stopped a driver in a Manassas, Virginia, apartment complex on a recent night and wrote the man a ticket for driving on a suspended license. With a badge on his chest and a gun on his hip, Youlen gave the driver a stern warning to stay off the road. The stop was routine police work, except for one fact: Youlen is not a Manassas officer. The citation came courtesy of the private force he created that, until recently, he called the "Manassas Junction Police Department." He is its chief and sole officer. He is a force of one. And he is not alone. Like more and more Virginians, Youlen gained his police powers using a little-known provision of state law that...

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