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Miami Beach PoliceMPD Off-duty Cops, Rights Rescinded

MPD Off duty Cops, Rights Rescinded

Miami Beach Cops Banned from Working for Miami Beach Nightclubs.

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ews was released on Wednesday July 16th regarding a decision by Miami Chief of Police Dan Oates that will restrict Miami Dade off duty officers from providing security to nightclubs in the Miami Beach area. Effective August of 2014, hiring off duty Police Officers will no longer be a viable option to Miami Beach nightclub owners. Several incidents involving off duty officers allegedly drinking while providing security to private night clubs have surfaced over the past few years. This motion by Miami Beach’s Chief of Police seems to be an effort to clean the name of the Miami Police Department. Out of all these cases involving misbehavior of off duty officers, the most conspicuous landed officer Derek Kuilan in prison, where he is currently serving an 18 month sentence.

Officer Kuilan allegedly took a bride-to-be on a joy ride aboard a marked all-terrain ATV assigned to officers patrolling the beach area and accidentally ran over a couple of beach goers. On a less drastic incident a uniformed officer was photographed with a group of tourists at a bar where he was providing security while off duty. The photograph was uploaded to social media sites by the bar patrons, and in it the female tourists blow kisses at the camera as they flank the uniformed officer who poses with his hands up in the air as if in celebration. It is said that the officers involved in each of the aforementioned incidents were intoxicated while  working the off duty posts.

This new edict by Police Chief Dan Oates has been challenged by many who argue that off duty police officers are better crime deterrents than are security guards or bouncers. While the presence of an off duty police officer will easily prevent conflicts from arising at nightclubs, bouncers and security guards, pose little threat as figures of authority to intoxicated patrons and are thus not as effective a red flag. Unable to hire off duty officers, the most effective deterrent of conflict, nightclub managers and owners will be forced to place 911 emergency calls if conflicts arise, a dynamic that will draw police enforcement away from patrolling other areas of Miami Beach, leaving those previously patrolled neighborhoods exposed and at risk.

Similar Cases – Buffalo, NY

Back in May of this year, the Buffalo Police Department in NY passed a similar edict rescinding the right of off-duty officers to work as hired security for bars. Although Commissioner Daniel Derenda, in Buffalo claims the edict had been “brewing for a while,” its enactment closely followed a highly publicized incident at a local pub that resulted in the immediate suspension of two Buffalo police officers. Commissioner Derenda of Buffalo NY, stated he personally believes “it’s a good thing to have officers outside of establishments, trained officers, with the ability that security officers don’t have.”

Unarguably, off-duty police officers are the best conflict deterrents in a nightclub environment. But the Miami and Buffalo Police Department’s decision to keep off duty officers from working security at nightclubs is clearly a matter of disciplinary action as well as an effort to clean up the each Department’s public image.

Final Word

Unlike off duty officers, who can enforce the law should a conflict arise, security guards, or bouncers can in the best of cases mitigate the possibilities of a conflict arising among patrons or report the incident to the authorities should their efforts to prevent a fight from breaking out fail.

On the other hand a uniform, even when it’s not the official Miami Police Department uniform, still registers as a flag of authority and despite not being regarded as “the arm of the law,” a private guard can effectively deter the possibilities of conflict arising in most situations. Even if uniformed private security agents fail to prevent conflict, they provide nightclub owners the commodity of having a third party observer reporting incidents, accurately recording them in physical forms and assisting nightclub owners in dealing with police officials whenever placing an emergency call to 911 becomes innevitable.

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