Local News

State Auditor: Investigations Of Off-Duty Employment Not Uncommon

Posted July 18, 2006

— Across the country, police officers depend upon off-duty work to supplement their income. In Raleigh, officers usually work off-duty between 10 and 30 hours a week, making $20 to $40 per hour. It is a practice that can net an officer up to $50,000 more a year.

"Law enforcement happens to be one of those jobs where secondary employment is second nature," said law enforcement consultant Jon Blum.

Blum was a police officer for 14 years, most recently in Garner. He said he believes off-duty work is vital service to the community, but must be closely monitored.

"When you're on the clock, the police department's clock, you're on the taxpayer dime," he said.

David King investigates so-called double-dipping in state offices for the North Carolina Auditor on a regular basis. He has no connection to the Raleigh police investigation, but said the process they're going through is similar to what he does.

"Somebody can't be more than one place at the same time," said King. "They're either working in their primary employment, or they're working in their secondary employment, and that's something that we can determine."

King said to prevent double-dipping, agencies need to make sure rules regarding secondary employment are enforced.

"What we find often is that those rules are not followed completely or consistently, so it's generally pretty straightforward," said King. "We just recommend that agencies if they have those rules, they follow those rules."

The Raleigh Police Department requires officers who work off duty to submit paperwork detailing the job. Their policy clearly states the officer must be off-duty when performing another job.

Raleigh police officials aren't saying much because the internal investigation is ongoing. But Police Chief Jane Perlov said she will make herself available to talk about the situation publicly, hopefully by the end of the week.


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