Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Miami Beach Police Department reverses policy banning officers from working off-duty at nightclubs

Six weeks after prohibiting its officers from working off-duty at nightclubs, the Miami Beach Police Department has reversed the ban and is now allowing officers to work off-duty at some clubs.

Last Thursday Chief Daniel Oates issued a General Order outlining new policies regarding off duty work at nightclubs.

So far, the only clubs now using off duty officers are some select clubs along Ocean Drive - Wet Willie's, the Clevelander, and Mango's - and the Fontainebleau's LIV Nightclub.

A police spokesperson tells me that the department is in the process of allowing officers to once again work at Washington Avenue clubs.

Oates put the ban on off-duty work into effect last July after an anonymous caller alerted police that a Miami Beach police sergeant appeared to be intoxicated while working off-duty at Mango's Tropical Cafe.

Fraternal Order of Police president Al Bello told Random Pixels he welcomes the reversal of the ban. "We were experiencing increased calls for service along Ocean Drive that required officers to answer calls at clubs."

The new policy prohibits off-duty officers "from entering a nightclub unless law enforcement action is necessary," and also bans them from "from consuming meals or beverages inside the nightclub."

The biggest change, however, is that officers will now "be rotated to different locations during the off-duty shift at the discretion of the supervisor in charge." What this means is that one off-duty officer will no longer work an entire shift at any one nightclub.

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