General Order



TITLE: Off Duty Law Enforcement Action


March 24, 2015



March 17, 2015




The purpose of this directive is to provide guidelines to deputies regarding off-duty arrests. It also adopts safety guidelines for the carrying of firearms while in an off-duty status and for a deputy’s duty and responsibility to take action in response to criminal activity while in an off-duty status.


Off-duty deputies are often faced with situations involving criminal conduct that they are neither equipped, nor prepared to handle in the same manner as if they were on duty. This may lead to unnecessary injuries to off-duty deputies, and confusion for those on-duty officers arriving at the scene trying to correctly assess the facts. In order to promote safety and efficiency, it is the policy of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to determine and regulate those situations and locations within which a sworn member is permitted to make an arrest while off-duty.

A deputy may carry a firearm while off-duty in accordance with this directive, and state and federal law. It shall not be necessary that a member, who chooses to carry a firearm off-duty, carry his service weapon, however, any weapon that a deputy chooses to carry must comply with MCSO General Order Chapter 31, Weapons.

Deputies should refrain from carrying firearms when contemplating the consumption of alcoholic beverages or under other circumstances where the need to carry a firearm is outweighed by safety issues associated with the circumstances that the deputy will be undertaking.

A deputy who becomes aware of an incident which poses a threat of serious bodily harm or death to him/herself or some individual shall take “action” to minimize the risk of serious bodily harm or death. “Action” under this provision is fulfilled by reporting the incident and shall not require the deputy to place him/herself in a position of peril. A deputy who is faced with such a circumstance should act in accordance with the guidelines as spelled out in this directive.


When off-duty, a deputy may make an arrest only when:


Whenever a deputy becomes involved in an incident while in an off-duty capacity, he or she shall notify the on-duty shift supervisor as soon as possible. The deputy will be required to document his/her involvement. A Use of Force report will be completed if the deputy’s actions fit the criteria.