Sunday, September 30, 2007
Officers acting when off duty
Q: Recently we had a situation in our neighborhood where there was a dispute between two neighbors. There is a police officer who lives across from the two neighbors involved in the dispute who has become friendly with one of the parties involved. The other neighbor
found it necessary, at some point during a recent weekend, to contact the police department regarding a situation with an adult child of one of the neighbors. The police officer heard it on his radio and came over to let the offending neighbor know that the police had been called and then stayed to discuss and belittle the people who had been offended. Is this ethical behavior for a police officer and should the offended party have mentioned this behavior to the officer called when he arrived?
The arriving officer was extremely professional and courteous.

A: That is a difficult question to answer with only the limited information you have mentioned. You did not mention the officer's agency and the circumstances of the "dispute". Officers are considered to be police officers 24 hours a day, and although most officers do not act as an officer when off duty, if there is a situation outside your door, often the officer will act to attempt to keep peace within our own neighborhoods. As for them "belittling" the people who called, I cannot answer because I was not there and only have a limited recap of the circumstances.

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:27 PM  

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