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Off-Duty Responsibility of Police Officers

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Reviewed Date: June 30, 2017

Original Author: 
Barton, Rex
Date of Material: 
Jan 11, 2002

Police--Laws and regulations

Off-Duty Responsibility of Police Officers

A statement of the off-duty responsibility of police officers.

Knowledgebase-Off-Duty Responsibility of Police Officers


1. Members of the department are always subject to orders from superior officers and to calls for assistance from private citizens. Being off-duty does not relieve the officer from the responsibility of taking proper police action in any matter coming to his/her attention.

2. When there are no exigent or emergency circumstances, officers shall request the dispatcher to turn the matter over to officers on duty.

3. Officers may perform necessary police service whenever or wherever they are aware of a serious criminal offense or a present threat to life.

1. Generally, misdemeanors would not represent a serious criminal offense or an immediate threat to life.

2. In most cases, felonies would qualify, but officers should exercise restraint in dealing with offenses in an off-duty capacity.

4. In all cases, off-duty officers shall relinquish control of the situation and/or any prisoner to on duty officers having jurisdiction as soon as practically possible.


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