talks about officers that moonlight when they are off duty. This has law enforcement agencies concerned about their officers not receiving enough rest and being fatigued while on the job. What policies should be in place that limits officers from having other jobs outside of the department he or she is employed?
1) Fatigue is a growing concern for law enforcement agencies, especially when it comes to officers that work second jobs (Doerner, 2012). Another concern would be officers using their sick time to work a second job, thus causing staffing issues for the agency (Doerner, 2012). Depending on the type of secondary employment, there could also be a conflict of interest further concerning the law enforcement agency (Doerner, 2012).
Some agencies have policies that are in place to prevent issues with officer’s primary jobs. These policies include being fully qualified, completed any probation period, not under investigation, hour restrictions, equipment use (including service handgun), and not working in a capacity that could cause a conflict of interest (Doerner, 2012).
Fatigue is a major concern for law enforcement officers due to the nature of their job and the responsibilities they are beholden to. I would say it is fair for law enforcement officers to report secondary employment to their primary job’s chain of command. Law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard and the command has an interest in ensuring the public is receiving the best service possible. Policies like those mentioned above should absolutely be in place as law enforcement officers are always representing their agencies and communities on or off duty. However, the income of many police officers motivates the desire to find secondary work and agencies should not only recognize this, but ensure the process to obtain a second income not be hampered by red tape and bureaucracy.
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2) Agencies have legitimate concerns in regards to their employees having second jobs or moonlighting. When officers have these second jobs they may report to work exhausted, sleepy, preoccupied, and not as productive. These off-duty jobs may also interfere with departments normal operations. For example, an officer may use a sick day only to go to the second job to make more money (Doerner, 2012). This example could possibly affect other officers to have to work a shift alone, which could put them in danger.
To help prevent issues with off-duty jobs within a department there needs to be policies put in place. A secondary employment policy guideline such as the Seattle Police Department has some great examples. First employees must be full-time employees with the department and in good standing with the department, including having completed all required training, certifications, and qualifications. Another example would be to have a secondary employment permit form. This permit must go through all the proper chains of command for approval. The permits are valid for one year and if continuation of this employment is desired, the officer is required to submit a new permit. Lastly, there should be certain prohibited secondary jobs to maintain the integrity of the department and its employees. Some examples of those jobs would be repossessing or towing vehicles, acting as a process server or bill collector, or employment that requires access to police information (Doerner, 2012).
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