Armed and Off-Duty http://www.privateofficer.com
By: Rick McCann
Always on duty is a tag line that many law enforcement officers have either put on themselves or become accustomed to the thinking of such because of movies, the public’s general opinion, or possibly departmental policy.
A number of years ago when crime was increasing in metropolitan areas, agencies asked that any officer carrying a weapon or driving a “take home” police vehicle while off-duty get more involved in criminal activity that they either saw or heard via the police radio. Some departments even required that off-duty officers respond to priority type calls when in the area of the call and to get involved in criminal activity that they observed including moving violations.
But armed and off-duty doesn’t have the same meaning for private security personnel. While many supervisors and managers of private security firms and departments are required to be on-call during certain times and may even be required to carry arms during
those hours or once they arrive on their employer’s property, it does not equate to being armed for the purpose of enforcing laws or responding to or getting involved in activities that are not occurring in or around their employment location or employer’s property.
While being armed does give a person a certain level of comfort and security in situations that may be or may become violent, dangerous or cause the person to become a victim of crime, the reactions of the off-duty security person should be no more than that of a reasonable and prudent citizen who has a concealed carry permit.
Being an off-duty security officer is no different that being a plumber or a doctor or a painter who is off work even if the security officer is armed.
While some citizens do get involved in chasing suspects in crimes that the person has witnessed and in some cases make a difference in whether or not the suspect is caught and brought to justice, it is a dangerous action even for the off-duty law enforcement officer and should be done with reasonable care and caution.
I know that packing heat can sometimes make us feel bullet-proof and ten feet tall, but in reality, we’re not Superman and we need to make that split second decision with due care.
Personally, I’ve been involved in many of those off-duty chases and I know that there’s not much time if any to react to a purse snatcher who has just knocked an old lady down while grabbing her purse and I’m definitely not trying to discourage anyone from getting involved. I am however invoking a word of caution and suggesting that a person take reasonable actions.
Off duty private officers are often times observant and suspicious by nature which is a good thing. This trait can help the person to be alert to possible criminal activity or persons or situations and when this occurs the security officer should contact the police and not get involved other than to observe and report.
While responsibilities and required response may be different for the officer on their job, this is public streets and the officer has no authority or jurisdiction more than that of a private citizen.
Recently two incidents were mishandled by off-duty security personnel that got both of them arrested for impersonating a police officer.
In the first incident, the private officer saw several people arguing and walked over and flashed his badge and told them to split. One of the persons involved in the argument called police and because a badge was flashed and words said, the security officer was arrested.
In the second incident, the security officer in plainclothers wearing his security badge on his belt and his firearm walked into a nightclub and when the bouncer asked he was a police officer he said something that was taken as a yes and the police were called and the security person arrested.
Carrying weapons off-duty if you have a permit to do so is fine, but carrying, flashing or wearing badges and guns is only going to get you in trouble.
People getting involved in their community whether as a volunteer fireman, neighborhood watch or in any area that makes a difference is important and so is citizens who are alert and crime smart and has a nose for when something doesn’t look or smell right. But it’s important to stay within the boundaries of the law and to notify law enforcement when there is a legal issue, suspicious person, vehicle, or incident.
Know what you can and can not do and make all decisions smart, prudently and with much thought.
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Four mall security officers charged with assault http://www.privateofficer.com
A fifth person — a young adult in a program designed to give kids interested in law enforcement a glimpse into a police work — was also involved in the incident, officials said.
The five are being accused of improperly handcuffing and detaining the woman, officials said. Security guards don’t have police powers and may detain someone for police only if that person has committed a crime in their presence, according to police.
The four guards and the youth all turned themselves in and were arraigned on assault and battery charges in the 39th District Court, Roseville Deputy Police Chief Anthony Cona said. Assault and battery is a 93-day misdemeanor.
Cona identified the defendants as Edward Mazaluaskas, Gregory Taylor, Dewayne Brown, Jamar Pennington and Tywuan Brintley. A judge set bond for each of the defendants at $5,000.
Police say the incident occurred at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 27
Mall security told police the woman had been banned from the shopping center and when she returned was told to leave.
Mall security, police nab jewelry thief http://www.privateofficer.com
Montgomery County Prosecutors on Thursday, Feb, 26, approved a fourth-degree felony grand theft charge against Trevor L. Holloway, 37.
Holloway, of Cincinnati, and an accomplice were arrested Wednesday afternoon outside on Osterman Jewelry Store said Maj. John DiPietro of the Miami Twp. police.
The man with Holloway has yet to be charged.
“By the time they left the store got in their car and got to 741 and 725, we were on top of them,” DiPietro said. “I’m very proud of how well our system worked in this case.”
DiPietro said a pair of men entered the Osterman Jewelers in the Dayton Mall shortly before 5 p.m. and asked to see a Rolex watch that was on display. When the store clerk removed the watch from the case, one of the men snatched it, and they ran from the mall.
DiPietro said that thanks to a grant from the Homeland Security Department, the Miami Twp. police have sophisticated communication links to the Dayton Mall. He said the department has access to video surveillance camera images from mall security and direct radio links to the mall’s major retailers.
“The idea is to make the mall a harder target for terrorists, but the system has a lot of day-to-day benefits when it comes to controlling crime,” DiPietro said.
DiPietro said a pair of officers patrolling near the mall were in radio contact with mall security moments after the theft occurred and were able to spot the suspects at the main intersection just northwest of the mall parking area.
The officers found the stolen watch in the car and also found drugs and cash, DiPietro said.
MetroLink security aid in robbery arrest http://www.privateofficer.com
The supervisor chased two robbers for several blocks, McCuller said.
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Ohio student points gun at security http://www.privateofficer.com
According to the superintendent, the Whittier Junior High School student had had a previous run-in with the security guard and confronted him in the gym. The student pulled out the gun and aimed it at the guard.
The security guard tackled the student and retrieved the weapon. Another student who was with the student with the gun tried to run, but administrators caught him too.
The superintendent says the weapon was a pellet gun.
The school does not have metal detectors but staff say they had practiced for just such an incident and say the training is why the situation was resolved quickly.
Target security agents injured when shoplifter goes berserk http://www.privateofficer.com
Police said that the suspect, thirty seven year-old Steve Fumando was subdued and has been arrested on several charges after the 5:30 p.m. incident, in which the Great Kills man allegedly “went crazy” after being caught trying to steal a Blu-Ray DVD player.
When security stopped Fumando, he allegedly began fighting and punching the security officers. He is now charged with misdemeanor assault, harassment, and petit larceny, and is jailed in lieu of $1,500 bail.
Kimberly Bethie, one of the loss prevention agents said that the 6-foot, 220-pound Fumando tried to choke her during the assault.
Both security agents received minor injuries during the incident.
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Dead body found in car ticketed 7 times http://www.privateofficer.com
wpbf-tv.com– A car found in a Gainesville neighborhood with a dead body in the back seat had been ticketed seven times by city parking enforcement.
Police found the body when a resident called authorities Monday afternoon to report the car, which had been parked on the street for days.
A preliminary autopsy helped police identify the body as 42-year-old John Waldo, who had been missing since Feb. 11.
Police said the autopsy revealed no obvious cause of death. Investigators are awaiting toxicology results, which may take up to six weeks.
City records show the first ticket was issued to the 2001 BMW on Feb. 12, the day after Waldo was last seen alive.
A Gainesville city spokesman pointed out that ticket officers are not trained police officers but work out of the city’s public works department.
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Security officers take down robbery suspect http://www.privateofficer.com
valley news: Police arrested two 17-year-old robbers last night relating to a Tuesday afternoon robbery when the two males robbed a male victim near 2nd/ Howard. One of the males pointed a black colored semi-auto handgun at the victim and demanded money. The suspects fled the area on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.
On Wednesday evening the victim called 911 to report that he saw the same suspects standing near the STA Plaza at 701 W. Riverside. Spokane Police Officers arrived and both suspects fled on foot running in opposite directions.
Officers chased the first suspect as he repeatedly shoved his hands in his waistband as if he was trying to access a weapon. Robber number one eventually stopped next to a parked car where he tried to hide a stolen semi-auto handgun and was apprehended.
The second robber was arrested by STA security. He was also found to be in possession of a second stolen handgun. Both handguns were stolen during burglaries. One of the burglaries was from the Spokane Valley area on February 11, 2009. The second gun was stolen in the Tacoma area.
Both teenage suspects claim to be from the Tacoma area and are are charged with multiple felonies. The first robber was charged with 1st degree robbery, possession of a stolen firearm, and 2nd degree possession of a firearm. The second robber was charged with 1st degree robbery, 1st degree unlawful possession of a firearm and 2 counts of possession of a stolen firearm.
They were both booked into the Spokane County Juvenile facility on Wednesday, but knowing how the juvenile justice system works in Washington State, both are presumably were out “kiddy jail” before the officers even finished their reports and are probably searching for another crime to commit
Police recover stolen gun from shoplifters http://www.privateofficer.com
mercurynews.com — Two suspects in a shoplifting at a lingerie store were arrested after efforts to conceal the crime that were as semi-transparent as the items they’re accused of stealing, police said.
The theft also led officers a stolen firearm in the getaway car, said police Cpl. Kerry Cerletti.
A man and woman walked into Sarah’s Bare Necessities, 1865 Adobe St., about 1:05 p.m. Wednesday, walked around the store, chatted with the clerk and then tried to leave out the front door, but the store security alarm went off.
The clerk approached the two and asked them to return whatever they took. The pair refused, argued with the clerk and then got into their car and drove off, but so slowly that the clerk was able to take down a license plate number. She then called police.
About 15 minutes later, an officer stopped a car and two occupants that matched the descriptions given by the clerk, who was brought to the scene to identify the pair and give police a description of some of the stolen items, Cerletti said.
When officers began searching the car, the woman confronted them, trying to get in their way before she was subdued and detained. Besides items stolen from the store, they found a loaded handgun that had been reported stolen in Antioch.
Shanoria Sasser, 20, of Pittsburg, was arrested on suspicion of theft, possession of a concealed handgun and possession of stolen property. She was held in West County Jail in Richmond on $40,000 bail.
Security officer disarms robbery suspect http://www.privateofficer.com
Police said that a man entered the store and asked to see the most expensive watches. When the salesperson put one of two watches on the man’s wrist the alleged robbery suspect tried to flee the store.
At that point police say that a security officer spotted the robbery and tried to stop him. After a brief struggle, the man pulled out a knife but the officer was able to disarm him.
The two men wrestled and the suspect then dropped the watch and fled.
The suspect is described as Japanese, in his 20′s, around 5′ 4′, and between 140 to 160 pounds with brown eyes. His was wearing a white t-shirt, black shorts, black slippers and glasses.