Legal and ethical issues in security management

Legaland ethical issues in security management


Legaland ethical issues in security management

Moonlightingrefers to the practice of police officers working for privateentities during their off-duty time. In the recent past, moonlightingpractices have skyrocketed as police officers look for alternativemeans to supplement their income. However, legal and ethical issuesregarding moonlighting have increased following a careless shootingof harmless victims by off-duty officers working for private securityfirms. The coursework focuses on the legal and ethical issuessurrounding moonlighting practices and the role police departmentought to play in addressing the concern.

Policeofficers moonlight as private security

Moonlightingof the police officer has been an issue surrounded by controversiesover the legal and ethical issues involved. The debate ofmoonlighting in the United States among the law enforcement teams hasbeen raging because of the actions police of the actions policeofficers are pushed to take when off-duty[ CITATION Bre12 l 1033 ].The moonlighting has been described as a secondary job, hence aconflict of interest. Police officers’involvement in moonlighting during their off-duty hours has beenprecipitated by the need to add-on their salary[ CITATION Joh141 l 1033 ].However, legal and ethical issues regarding their responsibilitiesduring these hours have been called into question. Cases of policeshooting during their off-duty, working for private firms, haveraised eyebrows among independent police agencies and human rightsorganizations[ CITATION Bre12 l 1033 ].For instance, an off-duty officer working for a private company wasinvolved in a shooting of an 18-year-old while on a police uniform.

Legalconcerns about police officers in uniform working for privatesecurity firms have hit the law enforcement department so hard, overthe recent past. Police uniforms are symbols of the state authorityand empower police officers to employ legal measures during theirpublic service operations[ CITATION Joh141 l 1033 ].It is evident that the interests of a private firm and the governmentare entirely different, and police officers may be coerced to takeillegal actions against the public while policing off-duty. Policehave also been used by banks and nightclubs in most towns to providesecurity, an act thatresults in excessive use of force, and careless shootings[ CITATION Bre12 l 1033 ].Some of the moonlighting police officers are involved in the shootingof innocent civilians, and thus must be held responsible for theirmisconduct.

Salientpoints of a comprehensive off duty plan

Thepolice department should take responsibility and control ofmoonlighting behavior among police officers to lessen policemisconduct, fraud, and conflict of interest. Departmental policiesmust reflect police officers’ off-duty as their relaxing time toavoid fatigue and stress during their regular working hours[ CITATION Bre12 l 1033 ].Reforms in the police department should include a resting period forofficers to ensure they provide excellent public services. However,departmental policies and guidelines must clearly stipulate acomprehensive plan for the police paid details to minimize the risksinvolved. The control of paid details ought to come from departmentsand divisions, but not from police personnel[ CITATION Joh141 l 1033 ].

Placingthe unit under the supervision of the off-duty operations ensuresthat corruption and other unethical practices are minimized in thelaw enforcement teams. Paid police details aim at maintaining peaceand order, but in an unofficial capacity. Large scale events andcorporate occasions require law enforcement teams to control trafficand tackle public safety matters[ CITATION Bre12 l 1033 ].The concern about moonlighting lies on the accountability aspect oftheir actions and practices during the off-duty hours. The localgovernment ought to intervene in the rising cases of moonlightingamong police officers failure to which, police agencies will be heldaccountable for questionable police practices.


Breads, J. F. (2012). Is The Devil in Paid Police Details? Chief`s Counsel. The Police Chief, 79, 12-13.

Joh, E. E. (2014). When police moonlight in their uniforms. The Los Angeles Times, 1-3.