Professional courtesy: The badge on the uniform trumps the badge in the wallet
This is something to be given by the off-duty officer to an on-duty officer, not the other way around
There are three schools of thought when it comes to professional courtesy. They are:
1.) Off-duty officers should receive professional courtesy from on-duty officers when contacted during a traffic stop
The fact is many in law enforcement believe that professional courtesy is something a police officer off duty should receive from a fellow officer working the road.
Not From, But To
How do you show this professional courtesy when off duty? It is simple.
1.) Set your cruise control to the speed limit.
If You Are Stopped Off Duty, Try This
Add, “I am sorry for putting you in this awkward position. Do what you deem necessary, Officer. This was my mistake.”
Guess what? In most cases the officer will run their checks and send you on your way with a warning. If you do receive a citation, accept it courteously and then take it to court or pay it, but do not malign a fellow officer doing their job either at the scene or later. If you do that, you are no different than the citizens who malign you for doing yours.
Professional courtesy is something to be given by the off-duty officer to an on-duty officer, not the other way around.
An On-Duty Officer’s Job on the Line
When an intoxicated officer has piled into a family of four, responding officers are handcuffed. They must take action.
It is also an untenable situation for an on-duty officer, when called to a scene where a fellow officer has committed a crime. It is even legally prohibited to use discretion in domestic violence cases in states, requiring mandatory arrests, when probable cause exists.
In these cases, if the on-duty officer ignores the actions of the off-duty officer, or improperly uses discretion, the cop on duty’s career will be seriously jeopardized.
Something Else To Consider
One suspect was a barber, the other a fireman, and both were extremely intoxicated drivers. They flashed their fake badges, hoping to fraudulently cash in on “professionally courtesy.”
I was able to ascertain they were not officers and then arrested them for not only operating while intoxicated, but also impersonating a police officer. These two claimed their ploy had worked a number of times prior to their arrest.
Has this ever happened to you?
A Rogues’ Gallery
Here are some examples.
• Sgt. Drew Peterson was recently convicted of killing his wife after a lengthy investigation
The Golden Rule for Off-Duty Officers
Finally, do unto other officers in uniform as you would have others do onto you. That is the true meaning professional courtesy.
|Back to previous page|