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


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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.
  2. When off-duty officers are stopped for violations, they should be cited by on-duty officers to maintain ethical purity.
  3. On-duty officers should be allowed to use discretion – which is totally eliminated by both point one and two by the way – when stopping an off-duty officer.

The fact is many in law enforcement believe that professional courtesy is something an off-duty police officer should receive from a fellow officer working the road.

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