LAST WEEK'S ISSUE: -- County Executive John R. Leopold announced that he will introduce emergency legislation to lift a ban prohibiting police officers from taking second jobs at bingo parlors and businesses that serve alcohol.
The move comes about two weeks after a veteran of the county Police Department sued to block an order issued by Chief James Teare Sr., which was based on a county's ethics commission opinion that off-duty jobs at businesses that serve alcohol presented a conflict of interest. Teare rescinded the ban, pending the outcome of the case.
The president of the county's Fraternal Order of Police lodge applauded Leopold's move, which would not only allow officers to continue working at restaurants and other entertainment venues with liquor licenses, but also ends a 2004 ban on employment at bingo parlors.
Should officers, who are required to wear their county-issued uniforms while working secondary jobs, be allowed to work at businesses that serve liquor and bingo parlors?
Security work should be allowed
Police officers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
They are expected to respond to an emergency where ever and whenever as "part of the job."
The shame of it all is that devoted officers and their families are expected to uphold and obey the law while earning salaries that don't meet the living wage standard within the communities they serve. Police officers should be allowed to work "security" in their uniforms for private establishments including those serving liquor and owning bingo establishments.
My Edgewater community has benefited for years from such special privileges. However, while reviewing this practice, there needs to be guidelines about enforcement of laws for underage drinking, when a drunk can get into a car and "bar" rowdiness. It is also, a good time to look at the ramifications of such "policing" at race tracks with slots and casinos.
Maryellen O. Brady Edgewater
Officers need the extra income
There is no reason that officers can't work secondary employment. They need to supplement the income that they have to survive. More officers out there will only help to deter crime in those areas and will cut down on officers working being tied up on calls. Stick up for our police. They deserve it.
Dave Griffith Linthicum
Police presence deters criminals
Is there really someone out there who questions the idea of police working second jobs as a security person? It matters not where this person, this police officer, is on his second job. He or she can be at a school, a bar, or anywhere. The point is there is additional police presence. The fact of the matter is crime drops with increased police presence.
In our area, crime seems to be increasing, and it needs to go down. To do this, we need to allow police officers to moonlight wherever they so choose, as often as they choose.
Again, police presence deters crime. Nothing can deter crime more than an officer's visible presence. No one wants to go to jail. The other thing we need to do is activate and work with Neighborhood Watch groups. County Executive [John R.] Leopold needs to do this, along with his police force.
Crime will only go down if we allow police to continue doing their second jobs at various places.
Victor Henderson Glen Burnie