Are police officers’ side businesses a conflict of interest?

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“Yes, as long as the outside business is not a conflict of interest with the Bureau’s Secondary Employment Policies and Procedures” wrote Police Spokesperson Diane Richard in an email response to the Courier. “Yes, employee may engage in off-duty outside employment that will not require the use or potential use of law enforcement powers; and where outside employment presents no potential conflict of interest between the primary duty as an officer and the duties required by the outside employer; and where the outside employment does not constitute a threat to the status or dignity of the police as a professional occupation.”
According to the documents, businesses owned and/or operated by police officers may have contracted for city business. The company L&N Security Services Inc., operated by Officer Martin Link and retired Officer Daniel Novak, was used to coordinate a helicopter lift in February according to an operational order.
Similarly, D&T Enterprises, which is owned by suspended officer Ford and her mother, provided catering at a police event. And city officers sometimes received self-defense training at Wright’s Gym, owned by Officer Dave Wright.
So what is the bureau’s policy on using an officer’s side business for services such as training, catering or security? Would it be a conflict of interest?
“This depends on the event in question.  Some would be subject to a bid process in assurance that there is an approved contract with the City. However, other events that would utilize non-tax dollars would not be held to those restrictions,” Richard said. “The Police Bureau would not hire a security firm to perform the duties of a certified police officer.”
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office is looking into four side businesses involving four Pittsburgh officers, but only to determine whether the businesses should have private detective licenses. The four businesses owned by four separate officers include L&N Security Services Inc., Kincaid Security LLC, Pittsburgh Collision Reconstruction Services LLC and Evans Polygraph Services Inc.

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