During Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, increased security at affected sites became a necessity for many companies. An exponential amount of assignments from varying industries created a huge influx of hours for off duty police officers. Under these extreme instances, many of the off duty officers who worked, took time off from their agency so they could be available to assist in the recovery efforts for an extended period of time. As the assignments came to a close, officers tallied their hours worked and submitted their time for pay. The companies who employed these officers have negotiated pay rates and terms prior to engaging the officers. Even so, there were many reports of officers who were not being paid in a timely manner and disputes over not honoring pay rates that were agreed upon.
The benefits of being paid in a timely manner are highly sought after in any line of work. None more so than in an industry such as off duty employment, where officers chasing paychecks has been an industry norm from the very early years. This not only affects the officers, but the end users as well. Officers that are not paid on time are less inclined to work for that location during future assignments. Whether that officer is working for the end user directly or through a third party, the perception of lack of payment always falls to the end user. Due to these concerns, Off Duty Services (ODS) places heavy value on paying officers weekly and invoicing their customers on a monthly basis. Through the experience officers had with ODS during past natural disasters, ODS was able to mobilize 100’s of officers to the affected areas without the teams questioning payroll issues.
When engaging a member of law enforcement for an off duty assignment, especially in a disaster recovery situation, employers need to respect the efforts these men and women are putting themselves through. As well as, recognize the responsibility of paying them for their service. The importance of taking ownership of handling payroll in a timely manner is imperative and leads to a successful off-duty assignment from beginning to end.