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Twelve Rules for Off-Duty Conduct

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 33 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2006 Pages: 88,90,97
Lindsey Bertomen
Date Published
February 2006
9 pages
This article presents 12 rules of conduct for off-duty officers for the purposes of both safety and effectiveness.
The following 12 rules of conduct are intended to aid officers in becoming as effective and safe as possible while in their off-duty roles: (1) always carry a gun; (2) training in the areas of extreme psychological trauma and on methods of carry and recognizing other who may be armed; (3) consider less-lethal choices; (4) use of correct language; (5) use the radar or an attitude of constant vigilance and maintain a situational awareness; (6) be a good witness and act only if the situation demands an armed response; (7) use a “backdoor line” (dial 911) to dispatch to immediately establish oneself as an officer in need of assistance; (8) establish and practice an exigency plan with family members; (9) identify oneself as a police officer to approaching uniformed officers; (10) carry the most effective weapon the wardrobe allows; (11) practice with the weapon carried; and (12) use the most powerful element of self-defense, surprise. The off-duty police force entails a mode of self-defense and protection. Because of this mode, the off-duty force continuum is different from the on-duty one. Although situations may have a similar range of force, there is an infinite set of variables. To aid officers in becoming as effective as possible in their off-duty roles, the above rules are presented and discussed.