Local News

Investigators Request RBC Center Records In Double-Dipping Probe

Posted July 26, 2006

— Raleigh police investigators have requested accounting records from the RBC Center as part of their internal probe into the off-duty employment of several officers.

The arena has employed off-duty officers for crowd control during Hurricanes games and other events. The city of Raleigh added on-duty officers for patrols.

Police internal affairs investigators are now targeting one or more officers who allegedly racked up a number of off-duty hours and pay while on the department's time clock or violated other regulations regarding off-duty employment.

Late last week, WRAL learned that the police department had also requested employment records from the Longbranch nightclub in connection with their investigation. Neither business is under investigation for any alleged wrongdoing in connection with the probe.

"To me, this is just an internal affairs issue with the police," said RBC Center general manager Dave Olsen. "From our end we're just cooperating."

Olsen said Raleigh police requested the records in the first week of June, before the Hurricanes' playoff run was over. Because the police department saw irregularities with its officers as early as May, earlier RBC Center events -- not the NHL playoffs -- may be the subject of the probe.

"There should be no reflection on the RBC Center," said Olsen. "This is truly an issue between the police officers and what they're doing from a time standpoint."

The RBC Center wouldn't say how many officers it employs for off-duty work, and it's unclear how many businesses the police department wants records from. Raleigh police chief Jane Perlov would not comment on specific numbers.

"We are compiling a lot of paperwork and we're in the process of interviewing all the individuals involved," said Perlov.

Perlov said in a news conference Tuesday that 602 of the 730 sworn officers have contracts for off-duty work. WRAL has learned that over 300 businesses have contracts with the Raleigh Police Department, including nightclubs that use police security.

Olsen said the officers they employ have always been professional. He said he hopes none are ultimately involved in the investigation.

This type of investigation doesn't appear to be a common practice in North Carolina. The executive director of the Police Benevolent Association said he can't remember anything of this magnitude here or across the state in the last 16 years.

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