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Off-duty Phenix City officers provided with equipment, legal protection for private security

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:14 PM EST
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PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - Event or businesses looking to hire security can turn to Phenix City law enforcement for help.

A new resolution, passed by the city council this week, makes it an easier process. This also gives police officers more income opportunities.

Phenix City police officers working in a security fashion, while off duty, will now have the same protections afforded to them as if they were officially on patrol for the city.

“They’re doing a job that most people, right now, wouldn’t want to do. We need good, qualified people and we’ve got to give them the tools to do it,” said Councilman Steve Bailey.

State law in Alabama recognizes the need for off-duty officers to work security for businesses or event - at a cost to the business or event. And now with a new resolution - officers in Phenix City will be allowed to use their city-issued equipment - such as a firearm, uniform, and vehicle.

The ordinance requires officers seek approval for this type of work through the chief - part of that is listing equipment that will be used in the process, where the work is, and other general information.

Liability is a concern with an ordinance like this and those hiring officers for outside work would have to carry appropriate insurance policies.

“There is a requirement in the law that the business hiring the officer must carry a $100,000 liability policy for any incident the officer is involved in,” said Captain Joey Weieric, Phenix City Police Department.

Officers will also now have the same legal standing in this off-duty work as they do on-duty for the city.

“The officer is also granted certain immunities, the same as they would be on duty,” Weieric added. “The Alabama Legislature deemed these duties to be a necessary part of public safety so they extended that immunity to officers working off duty.”

City leadership feels that this measure will make Phenix City a safer place to live and benefit officers with new opportunities.

The practice of officers working in security is nothing new, but this adds an extra layer of legal protection for that type of work.

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