This week we are assessing police officers who moonlight in the private security field. Police officers who moonlight in private security gives a tool that can be used for many private companies. It helps to protect against some liability as these officers are trained well above the standard security guard. Police officers are used to having high stress volumes, long hours, case studies, court cases, and enforcing law. However, with public law enforcement officials conducting these duties, a conflict arises with many officers being condemned for conducting “public duties” rather than “private duties”. In other words, police officers who work in the private field may arrest someone, but not read their Miranda rights. This was a main concern in the Bauman v. State of Indiana case. The off-duty police officer did not read the suspect their Miranda rights prior to being detained and interrogated. In affirming the convictions, the court did not accept the argument that Miranda rights were necessary because of the guard’s public police officer status (Nemeth, 2011).
In my opinion, public police officers are never off duty. There are numerous locations that require their officers to be on call 24/7. If public police officers view a crime being committed, they can assist in deterring and apprehending suspects. Public police officers should not be able to affiliate and unaffiliate themselves when it is convenient to them. These officers swear an oath to protect and serve the public. This includes on and off duty, they are there to give assistance when it is needed. In this case, officers unaffiliate themselves to hold a second job. If this is the case, then officers should be completely off duty when conducting these roles. They should only be allowed to perform duties that any normal security guard could, and it should be seen as a conflict of interest if they are used to gather evidence. Of course, there are current policies in place in many locations that assist in separating the two, but there are still cases that are presented that draws a fine line between the two professions.
Fenton, J. (2010). Baltimore police order review of moonlighting. https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-xpm-2010-02-04-bal-md-ci-secondary04feb04-story.html
Nemeth, C. (2011). Private security and the law. ProQuest Ebook Central https://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Spencer, D. (2010, December 29). New Office Keeps Tabs on Moonlighting Police. https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/new-office-keeps-tabs-on-moonlighting-police/1861872/