View Full Version : Off-Duty Cops & Military
1. If an off-duty cop sees a robbery, can s/he act as if on duty? Can s/he fire his/her gun in as if in the line of duty, or s/he is just a regular citizen? Is the gun licensed to him/her?
2. If in the military, and you are relaxing in the Officer's Club or maybe retiring for the evening. Are you ever really off-duty? Can a superior officer give you a direct order at any time, even if unwarranted?
02-09-2000, 11:55 AM
It is my understanding that a police officer is never off duty and is always authorized to carry a firearm. However, when out of uniform the firearm has to be concealed. I am not a law enforcement officer. I'm basing this on hear say. There was an incident here a while back where an off duty officer foiled a bank robbery (he was jogging and happened to see the robbery take place). I don't remember if he had a firearm with him or not.
02-09-2000, 11:56 AM
I'll let cops answer #1 but it's extremly common for off duty cops to take official action.
As for the military you might want to refine the question. What do you mean by "unwarranted" order? Military personnel must obey all [b]lawful[/i] orders of superiors but hypothetical situations like the "O" club are kind of misleading. It's not uncommon and quite legal to be recalled from leave (a designated vacation) or liberty (free time after the normal work day) for emergencies.
Originally posted by Padeye:
What do you mean by "unwarranted" order?
I mean, if the superior officer just wants to throw his weight around, I guess you'd have to obey no matter what the order??? I mean anything from just to make you miserable to ruining your R&R, etc. "Unwarranted" as in not a pressing matter or even not of military concern, etc.
02-10-2000, 12:03 AM
2. If in the military, and you are relaxing in the Officer's Club or maybe retiring for the evening. Are you ever really off-duty? Can a superior officer give you a direct order at any time, even if unwarranted
There is no such thing as "off-duty" in the military. You are on call 24/7 and yes, you must obey any lawful order given to you by a superior. That doesn't mean that if some O-1 told an e-6 to stand at parade rest of something stupid, that he wouldn't later be called on the carpet for it my his superiors later.
Originally posted by unibrow:
However, when out of uniform the firearm has to be concealed.
Concealed when off duty? I thought it was commonly the law NOT to conceal a weapon!?
02-10-2000, 12:07 AM
I used to date a cop and he always carried a firearm; so far as I know so did all of his cop friends. They always kept their firearms concealed. One guy we used to double date with had his wife carry his firearm in her purse. I assumed they were authorized to carry concealed weapons, but maybe they weren't.
02-10-2000, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by Jinx:
I mean anything from just to make you miserable to ruining your R&R, etc. "Unwarranted" as in not a pressing matter or even not of military concern, etc.
Any superior who wanted to mess with a subordinate could be more creative than that. An officer would have to be pretty stupid to give unlawful orders to harass someone when it's much easier to give lawful orders in ways that give the same effect. No one is going to walk into the club and say "drop and give me 50 pushups" but they might tell a person to go do a legitimate job at an inconvenient time.
A more realistic situation is being ordered to stay in contact while on leave in case the unit is mobilized. I had to endure that in the navy because our carrier battle group just might be called away at a moment's notice to fight Sandinistas. I am so glad I don't have to put up with that anymore.
02-10-2000, 12:23 AM
The following applies only specifically to Florida, but may be likewise elsewhere (or words to that effect).
Our rather progressive concealed carry laws do not require law enforcement officers to get a concealed carry license for off-duty carry. However, individual law enforcement agencies can and do set policies about off-duty carry by the own officers, including whether or not they can carry their issue firearm. Nothing about legality, just whether or not you keep your job if caught.
Off-duty officers are, IIRC, just citizens. This would mean that they canNOT shoot a fleeing felon, for instance, but can act to protect the lives of themselves and others.
Florida's "Good Samaritan" law, which legally shields citizens making good-faith attempts to help, does NOT apply to EMTs, nurses, etc. It may therefore also not apply to off-duty cops, who may be in hot water if someone gets hit by a stray bullet and sues.
Again, all this varies by state and local custom.
02-10-2000, 12:41 AM
When I lived in the Wash. DC area, a buddy of mine was chief petty officer in the navy. Anywhere else in the world he'd have some rank, but DC is full of officers. Anyway, he stopped in a 7-11 to buy a six pack and forgot his uniform hat in the car (he was out of uniform). An officer came in the store, saw my friend and made him get out of line and go get his hat, even though he was on his way home and not on a military base.
Another buddy of mine (popular guy) is a cop in DC. He is (or was anyway) required to carry his pistol when off duty. Of course, he carried it concealed (would be kind of akward otherwise). There are laws forbidding concealed weapons in DC, but they don't apply to authorized officers of the law.
02-10-2000, 12:56 AM
My personal fave unlawful order was being told to give head. Before someone jumps on me about charging the Master-corporal in question let me say this, I saw what happens to women who did charge people for harassment it was much easier just to laugh it off and let him pretend he was joking.
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