Off-duty conduct of police is sticky issue

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  • phillip
    Dec. 15, 2008 10:10 p.m.

    Dont look at the words and think every thing you read is 100% correct. They did not give you a back ground on the circumstances surrounding the issue. If you had knowledge of the whole issue at hand you may have a more understanding of the situation and what that officer was going through. Yes Police Officers are on duty 24/7 however they are off duty when they are home. That officer I am sure of is sorry for his mistakes and is willing to pay his dues. Does that make him dishonest NO. Look at the whole picture before making a decision. We are all human beings and all make mistakes it is how we deal with them after we make them that makes the person. I know that officer will not make that mistake again and will try even harder to better himself as a person. Walk a mile in his shoes before juding another!

  • Until death vs. career change
    Dec. 11, 2008 11:02 p.m.

    Thanks John,

    "If a person is dishonest in his personal life - against those he has committed to and should be the most protective of - can anyone believe he wouldn't be dishonest against Joe or Jane Q. Stranger? Of course not."

    No, if you are willing to cheat on your wife and lie to your family you will be far more capable of lying to and about people you come into contact with while on duty.

    "This is why adultery between soldiers and their spouses is grounds for dishonorable discharge from the military. But that brings up another forgotten concept to some - honor."

    Of course, the idea is that if someone is willing to betray their spouse there isn't much more necessary to betray one's country and any office one holds. If you can cheat on your wife how much more would be needed for you to cooperate with the enemy?

    You are right that perfection isn't required but an officer who cheats on their spouse can't be trusted to not betray the public's trust. They swore to love, honor and cherish them for eternity or death do parts them. They promised less when taking their oath.

  • I refuse....
    Dec. 11, 2008 8:45 p.m.

    to believe that there aren't enough self supporting people going through the Police Academy, out there who aren't looking for jobs with Police Agencies out there.

  • Answer to Jason
    Dec. 11, 2008 8:04 p.m.

    Jason asked what other profession would be punished for off job activites. I can answer that. I am a Pharmacist. If I get involved on my own time in any illegal drug activies, I can lose my license. THis amounts to being punished for actions off the job.

  • re: Double Standard 6:42
    Dec. 11, 2008 6:09 p.m.

    I completely agree with your comment.

  • Everyone loses
    Dec. 11, 2008 3:39 p.m.

    The problem we run into when we do these investigations is that there is always deceit and out right lies when the officers are questioned.

    That raises the stakes when the officer lies or tries to cover it up. That is when the officer's integrity becomes tainted. How can you trust an officer if he/she cannot be trusted to testify truthfully?

    Once this occurs you have to look at the patterns of behavior for this officer. Is this an isolated case or a repeat offender?

    Just like anyone else that has an affair - there are no winners just broken families. Sometimes the officer loses his job as well as his family.

  • Curious
    Dec. 11, 2008 3:35 p.m.

    We apply standards to cops that don't apply to other members of our judicial system and society. Judges can have affairs and Deputy D.A.'s can use drugs with no loss of their authority as attorneys. Doctors and others have issues. "Rehabilitation" occurs in other ways that doesn't take away their ability to earn a living in their profession. While I don't condone the negative behaviors, POST has been reaching a bit too far in their self appointed brand of justice. Public entities have policies to deal with criminal and non-criminal conduct and POST should defer to them.

  • JD
    Dec. 11, 2008 2:36 p.m.

    An officer's off duty actions should have no bearing on his job status, as long as it doesn't effect his job and as long as his actions are not criminal. Leave them alone, enough already. You people who think cops are 'on duty' 24 hrs a day, are way off base and likely a bunch of hypocrites.

  • Thanks John
    Dec. 11, 2008 2:05 p.m.

    It IS about honesty. Does any one remember that concept?

    If a person is dishonest in his personal life - against those he has committed to and should be the most protective of - can anyone believe he wouldn't be dishonest against Joe or Jane Q. Stranger? Of course not.

    It is also about character. Remember that concept? Many of you above have apparently forgotten these concepts. Why, I wonder? Don't you subscribe to them yourselves?

    Perfection? No. But a standard of honesty and character? Yes.

    This is why adultery between soldiers and their spouses is grounds for dishonorable discharge from the military. But that brings up another forgotten concept to some - honor.

    When the foundation is gone, the whole house comes down with it. Sad. Very sad. For all of society.

  • john
    Dec. 11, 2008 1:19 p.m.

    Being a cop is different than any other job. Say your son, daughter, or other loved one is arrested for drug possession. The arresting officer, who testifies against your loved one in court, cheats on his spouse. Would you be absolutely confident that the officer is completely honest, and the dishonesty he displays in his marriage has no affect on his professional integrity? What about a judge you go before who cheats on a spouse, or a prosecuter who is trying to put you away for years? What about jury members?

  • not criminal
    Dec. 11, 2008 12:12 p.m.

    Morality and the law are two different things.

    Let them have their is none of our business and not against the law.

    Sorry folks but the supreme court has ruled... and the cops are required to enforce the law not act like choir boys.

    How about gay cops???? Wanna open that can of worms?

  • Position of trust
    Dec. 11, 2008 12:09 p.m.

    If a police officer is cheating on his wife and mother of his children...might he not be open to abusing his police authority? He may even be leaving himself open to being black mailed into abusing his authority.

    It's just not a good situation. Perhaps it's good that there is a HIGHER standard for police officers!

  • Off duty??
    Dec. 11, 2008 10:08 a.m.

    Yes...however a police officer has "police" powers 24 hours a day. He doesn't STOP being a police officer just because he is "off duty".

    Those who are LEO or "Law Enforcement Officers" can carry a gun 24 hours a day and the State of Utah considers LEO to have police powers 24 hours a day. Off duty?

    A policer officer off duty is different from a civilian business man not at work. You can not use the standard of civilians off work with that of an off duty LEO.

    Is it right? Don't know. Just saying you can't compare.

  • Jason
    Dec. 11, 2008 10:05 a.m.

    This is a joke, what other profession do the employees get suspended for a year for things they do away from work. You cant possibly think that away from work affairs happen only to cops this is a huge problem at every job. Why do the cops loose their job for it? I am all for their certification being taken away when a crime has been committed but t o take it away when they have had an affair off duty no matter who it is with is just dumb. Since when did POST turn into the moral police?

  • Civilian status
    Dec. 11, 2008 7:50 a.m.

    Every off duty officer should be considered civilian citizens subject to the same laws as the rest of us. They are subject to the same restrictions and weapons laws as any civilian. There should be no reason to consider an off duty officer on duty for any reason. If they are on-call then they must be notified before they can act as an on duty officer, otherwise, they are just another civilian walking the streets or in their homes. It should also be a 1st degree felony crime for the blue code mentality of the police forces that do illegal actions to protect its own members. There should be no in-house investigations of its officers and their conduct, on or off duty.

  • 24 Hours a Day
    Dec. 11, 2008 7:02 a.m.

    Why would the woman get a year suspension when the other half of the affair (the man) received only six months. The ruling is a bit unfair don't you think? Maybe there needs to be a citizen review board that decides the discipline rather than officers taking care of their own. How many women are on the POST council?

    BTW: the law enforcement officers are Category I officers and as such retain peace officer status 24 hours a day, not just while on duty for 8 hours. YES their conduct should matter 24 hours a day. How would it look if they chose to bend or break the law for 16 hours a day while enforcing the law for 8? Having said this, we do need to pay the first responders more money for the risks they take in responding to calls.

  • Double Standard
    Dec. 11, 2008 6:42 a.m.

    If Clinton can do it, lie about it, and get away with it then why focus so much time on an affair situation, especially off duty?

    I think that officers who speed and weave in and out of traffic without displaying lights or siren should be suspended for a year because of their disregard to public safety.

    I see it everyday, a Draper City Police officer driving on the highway near 3300 South at speeds in excess of 75 mph. A Salt Lake Officer driving in Farmington in excess or 80 mph just because they are late for work.

    Col. Duncan of the UHP told me to write down the plate number of ANY officer who is speeding. He made it very clear in his letter that an officer MUST display lights AND siren if they are going to drive in excess of the speed limit.

    To me this is a major hazard to the communities and highways. These ticket writing bigots need to be reported and lose rank and money for their actions.
    Just call the UHP at 887-3800 and report these cops who think they are above the law.

  • Agree
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:39 p.m.

    I agree, only in Utah. The place where everyone is perfect. For those who think only officers should be perfect, you better look in the mirror. All police officers will get a special place in Heaven for all the abuse they put up. I think a mistake here and there will be forgiven. POST needs to think, "Forgiveness" a little more and quit acting like bullies.

  • disgusted
    Dec. 10, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    I think this is none of anyone's business and not a workplace problem.

  • Frank
    Dec. 10, 2008 5:51 p.m.

    Police Officers need to have integrity and loyalty on duty or off duty. No compromising.

  • funny
    Dec. 10, 2008 5:29 p.m.

    My X worked with OPD and had an affair with one of south Ogden officer Even if they would have lost there job's it would not have stop it. they were married. They did not care the feel in lust. NOW they are not together. so I don't think post needs to get involved with something like this its just a wast of time. and lost of good officers.

  • Off Duty Behavior Counts
    Dec. 10, 2008 5:19 p.m.

    What happens when an officer is in an adulterous relationship and one of the parties acts out violently because of it. A spouse who is a victim in the past has become a murderer or other domestic violence occurs. Then co-workers need to respond and it creates friction. Police do not have the right to endanger the citizens of the State. Yes people are responsible for thier behavior. However the police should never be a catalyst. They need to be held to a higher standard. If not there will not be any respect.

  • Respect must be earned
    Dec. 10, 2008 4:35 p.m.

    If you want to get respect you have to earn it. A police force without the respect of the community is useless.

    Fellow officers should be more upset at these offenders for tarnishing the reputation of the force.