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Chiefs of Police Doing Privately Paid Details: Commission Advisory No. 10

NCJ Number
Date Published
4 pages
This advisory by the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission specifies those circumstances under which small-town police chiefs may be paid for off-duty details without violating State conflict-of-interest laws.
Police detail work is performed in a broad range of situations, including traffic control at utility and road construction sites, crowd control, and cash escort service for businesses, as well as private security work. The position of police chief is generally considered a 24-hour-a-day job. If a municipality has not restructured the chief's compensation package to allow for extra pay for detail work, then the chief's salary is presumably payment for all duties, including detail work. If the chief were to receive additional public compensation for tasks for which he/she is already being paid, this would violate State law against unwarranted privilege. Also, by deciding which details to assign himself/herself, the chief would be participating in a matter in which he/she has a financial interest, a violation of State law. This advisory explains how a police chief's employment arrangement can be restructured to avoid these conflict of interest violations. 6 footnotes.