Scenario 1 - Drugs at a Friend’s House
You are an off duty police officer at a party at the house of an old high school friend. Everyone is still in the backyard drinking. You go into the house to use the restroom and observe several of your buddy’s friends (whom you do not know) snorting cocaine. You do not know whether or not your friend has knowledge that people are using drugs in his house.
A police officer who is duly licensed usually has the authority at all times to make sure the law is enforced as long as he makes himself known as a police officer and shows proper identification. Off-duty mean that he is not assigned and working on a regular department shift. Some off-duty officers can be working as a private hire and rightfully has the authority to arrest persons who are breaking the law (Douglas & Moore, 2002). But in this scenario that does not seem to be the case. Yes, a moral problem is presented because snorting cocaine or use of drugs is illegal. Furthermore, it would be considered immoral for it to be done in the presence of an off-duty police officer whom enforces the law for a living. An off duty officer that may be a visitor or a guest at a private party does not have the authority to stop another person from doing illegal drugs. However, the officer can use professional discretion and place them under citizen’s arrest or detain them. Law dictates an on duty officer must be called to make the official arrest and complete the process (Douglas & Moore, 2002).
When making his decision the officer needs to consider all aspects of how he should proceed. First he needs to follow his specific department’s rules of an off-duty officer. Since they are off-duty and are not officially on the clock, he or she will need to think about the liabilities if injured or damages take place. For this reason, many off-duty officers do get involved and notify an on duty officer to handle the situation. Many departments also discourage...