document Off-Duty Conduct - Arrest

In Police Standard Operating Procedures

Off-duty officers may confront criminal activity to which they should take or must decide whether to take enforcement action including arrest. However, off-duty officers may not be equipped or prepared to handle these situations in the same manner as if they were on-duty, which could lead to claims of illegal or excessive acts, abuse of authority, as well as unnecessary injuries to the officer or members of the public. Generally, officers should not initiate law enforcement action or make arrests while off-duty but should first consider reporting and monitoring the criminal activity. However, any officer who becomes aware of an incident or circumstance that he/she reasonably believes poses an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death, or significant property damage or loss, may take reasonable action to minimize or eliminate the threat. It is recommended that your procedures manual include a written policy that provides acceptable criteria for taking law enforcement action or making an arrest while off-duty and which limits unnecessary enforcement action by off-duty officers. Arrest, Conduct, Off-Duty, PSOP-030