Headlines Review July 2023: The Risks of Off-Duty Police Work
As we look through another month of headlines involving off-duty police officers, it is essential to reiterate options for mitigating risks. Agencies do not have to continue to struggle with their off-duty programs. An off-duty solution that offers full administration, scheduling software, workers’ compensation, and liability insurance at no cost to your agency or officers is available through a partnership with Off-Duty Management.
When headlines like the one below hit the news, law enforcement leaders may be prompted to reevaluate their off-duty employment protocols and systems. This is a great opportunity to create a more robust program. After reviewing this recent headline, read further to see the common reasons these headlines occur. Consider what you can do to prevent these issues in your agency.
An off-duty security officer sustained a gunshot wound shortly after hearing gunshots nearby. Thankfully he survived the ordeal with minor injuries.
Anything that can happen at an on-duty job can happen at an off-duty job. Officers working security jobs often encounter perpetrators, gunfire, and other violence. When these off-duty encounters end in injuries and medical care, workers’ compensation coverage usually does not cover them.
Common Off-Duty Blind Spots
Depending on your state’s protocol, officers may enter a grey area for insurance coverage when working off-duty jobs. They are still protecting the community, yet the color of law determination often varies, even within the same jurisdiction. Color of law is complex, and not every incident during off-duty jobs qualifies as having occurred under that authority. Many officers are also ineligible for agency WC coverage during off-duty assignments.
The reality, however, is injuries and fatalities happen both on and off duty. Officers may end up with injuries requiring expensive medical care or possibly need time off work to recover from an injury during their assignment. In the case of a fatality, the officer’s family may be left without financial support, as well. Off Duty Management provides workers’ compensation at no cost to your agency, city/county, or officers when you choose our comprehensive solution for your off-duty program.
Liability Risks of Off-Duty Assignments
Legal issues may also stem from off-duty jobs. When questions about responsibility arise, all parties can become tangled in litigation while the fault is determined. This can include many months of fees for legal representation to cover the officer, agency, or city/county. Off Duty Management provides liability insurance at no cost to your agency, city/county, or officers when you choose our comprehensive solution for your off-duty program.
Many incidents of fraud begin with the misrepresentation of hours during off-duty assignments. Hours worked for on and off-duty jobs may get reported during the same period, commonly called double-dipping. Tax evasion charges may also occur when hours are underreported. When these headlines appear, communities often lose trust in law enforcement. Partnering with Off Duty Management increases transparency and accountability. Knowing when and where your officers are working significantly reduces the possibility of ending up in the headlines.
Law enforcement leaders can easily update their off-duty programs to better serve their agency and officers. Blind spots continue to result in local headlines, broadcasting negative news and tarnishing reputations. The team at Off Duty Management can assist your agency in mitigating these risks. With many former law enforcement professionals on staff, we understand common issues with off-duty programs and can assist you in mitigating them.