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Managing Off-Duty Jobs: A Clear Policy Is the Key to Success

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 47 Issue: 11 Dated: November 1999 Pages: 84-88
Richard B. Weinblatt
Date Published
November 1999
5 pages
Given that police officers view off-duty employment as essential, particularly in locales where officer pay is low, law enforcement managers are responsible for ensuring that clear policies and guidelines for such employment are in place.
Most of the police agencies interviewed for this article reported that they have strict policies that govern their officers on off-duty jobs. Many departments have a central person in the department who facilitates the jobs. In Beverly Hills, Calif., for example, organizations interested in hiring a Beverly Hills police officer contact the watch commander or traffic division. Officers can work other jobs out of uniform and without a patrol car by applying to the agency for an off-duty work permit. If an officer is slated to be in the police uniform, departments are understandably involved in coordinating such off-duty placements. Administrators routinely dictate what jobs may be worked in uniform and how they are allotted among personnel. Many departments have comprehensive polices that cover the off-duty jobs. In Charlotte, N.C., for example, deputies must have been a certified officer for a minimum of 1 year prior to putting in for secondary employment. Many departments monitor the activities in which off-duty officers engage. If a particular job site develops a pattern of many arrests or incidents of officer force being used, a department may require the employer to hire two deputies for that site. The article concludes with a discussion of compensation policies of departments for off-duty work.