Off-Duty Law Enforcement Actions and Responsibilities
Category: Law Enforcement
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol.
Today’s tip is for my friends in law enforcement. You all know that our jobs can be dangerous. It’s just the nature of our work. Emergency response. Crimes in progress. Taking enforcement action. Dealing with hostile and violent people. It’s all part of the job. But what about getting involved when we are off-duty?
Carefully consider your actions when you’re off-duty. Really think about whether you need to get involved.
Too many officers have been injured and killed after interjecting themselves into dangerous situations while they were off-duty. I’m not here to second guess anyone. But we should learn from the past. The officers had good intentions. They wanted to help. This is what we do. This is who we are. But many of these officers just didn’t know what they were stepping into. And they weren’t prepared.
And that’s my point. When you’re on-duty, you usually have the communication center feeding you information. When you’re on-duty you can observe and assess the situation. You can ask for back-up. You have more equipment at your disposal. This includes your uniform and a marked patrol vehicle that identifies you as an officer.
Sometimes you just have to act. But many times, you don’t. Carefully consider your actions when you’re off-duty. Really think about whether you need to get involved. Is it necessary? Can you call local law enforcement and have on-duty officers resolve your concern? Can you gather and retain information that will be useful without getting involved? Can you minimize your own risk by waiting, watching, and reporting? You always have options.
And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Until next time, Gordon Graham signing off.