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Police Complaints Board Releases Report on D.C. Police Outside Employment Policies

Friday, September 28, 2018
Current policy has not been updated for more than 14 years

WASHINGTON, DC – The District of Columbia Police Complaints Board (PCB), the governing body of the Office of Police Complaints (OPC), today released a report to Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Council of the District of Columbia, and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Peter Newsham addressing concerns with MPD’s current policies regarding outside employment for its officers.

Over the past several years, OPC has received several complaints from community members unsure as to whether an MPD officer is on-duty or off-duty while working outside employment and who they should speak with when an issue arises.  OPC also discovered that MPD officers are not clear on certain aspects of the Department’s outside employment policy.

As a result of the complaints filed with OPC, the agency reviewed MPD’s current policy on outside employment and found that the policy has not been updated for more than 14 years.  In addition, there is no training provided for officers who are interested in outside employment.

To that end, the PCB recommends the following to help promote transparency and accountability concerning outside employment for MPD officers:

  • MPD review and revise its General Order relating to outside employment to conform to best practices used by other police departments.
  • MPD should revise the outside employment uniform policy to identify members as MPD officers who are working outside employment.
  • MPD should require all MPD officers that choose to engage in outside employment to complete a training that outlines the specialized guidance for officers working outside employment.

“From the complaints OPC has received, we believe MPD needs to address the issues with their current policy on outside employment,” said Michael G. Tobin, OPC’s executive director.  “The policy hasn’t been updated in a very long time and that is cause for concern.”

To view the full report, visit