Not everyone has worked with off-duty police officers before, and some might not even know they can hire them at all. Yet, using public officers for private purposes isn't just legal, it's a safer, more efficient alternative to many security guard services. To understand why, we need to look at the many different tasks off-duty police can perform and why they are the best choice for security.
What an off-duty police officer can do:
- Dress casually: Off-duty officers don't have to wear their uniform, although they can if the assignment requires.
- Make arrests: In most cases, those who book off-duty police services probably don't foresee someone getting arrested. If trouble does arise, an officer is ready to apprehend someone if necessary to uphold the law. This is most likely a last resort, however, and will usually only come after the officer has tried to mitigate the situation.
- Manage crowds: A crowd doesn't have to be rowdy to pose a problem. Whether you're dealing with irate employees during layoffs or simply a large gathering at a special event, police can put all of their training to good use to keep people safe and deter bad behavior
- Respect their profession: They may be there to follow employer instructions, but an off-duty officer is still beholden to the law and will abide by standard police conduct while on the job. That can be a more binding assurance than a standard work agreement for security guards.
"Police are both self-sufficient and used to working in teams."
What an off-duty police officer cannot do:
- Avoid working with others: Police are both self-sufficient and used to working in teams. In a for-hire situation, officers can work alongside both private security staff and other officers. They can also call for backup as needed.
- Ignore the law: Different rules may apply to off-duty officers across the country, of even between agencies, impacting where they can work, as Dr. Richard Weinblatt wrote for Police Link. Police officers can't go against these rules without risking their jobs, nor can they enforce "house rules," so it's important for employers to understand and not attempt to contradict this.
- Use force recklessly: If someone hires an officer and expects lots of action, they may be disappointed. Police are highly trained and don't typically get physical unless it's necessary. Just because an officer has the ability to intervene and go on-duty doesn't mean they will or even should.
- Work off the books: As with any other contractor, off-duty law enforcement personnel come with tax reporting requirements. Employers need to understand this and prepare for the proper administrative work later. An off-duty police service company like Frizell Group can take this burden away from the client entirely for a simpler process in tax reporting, payroll, staffing, and risk mitigation.
Want to find out more? Contact Frizell Group today to get key information about off-duty police services.