Local News

Police Investigators Ask For Club's Records In Double-Dipping Investigation

Posted July 20, 2006 8:37 a.m. EDT

— Raleigh police investigators have obtained records from one local club as they continue their internal probe into alleged irregularities in the off-duty employment of officers.

Some of Raleigh's men and women in blue also work security at locations such as the Glenwood South entertainment district when they're off-duty. A city ordinance requires some nightclubs to have uniformed security at the door.

Officers set their own work schedule, but the department must approve the job.

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.

The Longbranch nightclub in North Raleigh has positioned off-duty officers at the door of its business since they opened 26 years ago, well before the ordinance was put into place. According to club owners, they were asked to turn over documents to investigators three weeks ago as part of the police investigation.

Initially, the club was reluctant to do so. But after conferring with their corporate attorney, club owners complied.

"They sent an internal affairs investigator out here and requested our records. We complied and turned them over to them. They are currently reviewing them," said manager John Kennedy.

But Kennedy doesn't think the officers who work for him have anything to worry about.

"Our officers fill out time cards and we know when they are here," he said. "They are paid by check. We don't think they have anything to do with the time issue the department is investigating."

Employing off-duty officers for security isn't cheap. Last year, the owner of The Office nightclub paid out $40,000 to off-duty officers for security. Steve Leonard said it's simply the cost of doing business.

"I don't mind paying for it," said Leonard. "It's a sense of security for me. I'd rather pay my $25 an hour than see everyone's taxes go up."

Officers who work security for local nightclubs while off duty average around $30 per hour.

In cities where officers are not permitted to work off duty, their wages are usually higher to compensate for the lack of additional income. This, of course, is a price paid by the taxpayers.

Police Chief Jane Perlov said she will make a statement about the investigation early next week. Police officials have declined to speculate on what corrective steps or disciplinary actions would be taken if the allegations are confirmed.