What is “Off Duty Service?”
The term “off-duty service” refers to police officers working private jobs when they’re not on-duty, serving their city, county or state. Many police officers work when they’re off duty as a means to supplement their income and continue building safer, stronger communities in their own backyards. Summit works with more than 1,400 law enforcement agencies and has over 60,000 officers in its nationwide network of law enforcement professionals.
A lot of people don’t know that police officers are available to hire for security, or how to go about setting up a program. Summit takes all the headache and hassle out of hiring off-duty officers by managing the process. Whether that’s an event venue or retailer who needs an elevated security solution, or a hospital in need of supplemental security staffing, Summit provides security services for a host of needs.
How do you hire a police officer? Can I go to the agency myself for the service?
Working directly with the law enforcement agency is always an option. Most agencies appoint a coordinator to manage off duty; that’s who you need to contact with your request for off-duty services.
Doing it yourself can be very time consuming, however, so plan accordingly. In general, here’s what to expect:
1. Find the right officer for the task and location, coordinate their availability, and have a backup plan for call offs. Given the increasingly limited number of police officers available, finding officers through the police department can be a challenge.
2. After that, there’s onboarding paperwork (applications, tax and banking forms, liability release forms, etc.) for each officer supporting the business.
3. and billing (tracking hours, preparing and submitting invoices, making sure an officer is paid on time). Come tax season, the business will need to provide contractor tax forms to each officer.
Summit has an automated platform for managing this process and a network of over 60,000 officers from 1,400 law enforcement agencies to draw upon.
What’s the difference between police officers vs. security guards?
Both security guards and police officers can deliver effective security, the choice is primarily dependent on why you need the coverage. But, the main attributes that set officers apart from security guards are:
• Police officers are highly trained and well-versed in local, county and state laws, making them well equipped not only to recognize a threat, but also know the legal parameters of response and how best to diffuse and de-escalate the situation. They also know the community…who the bad actors are, what the crime trends are and what to look out for.
• Uniformed officers also have a certain presence and authority that stops a potential criminal in his or her tracks. One international telecom retailer virtually eliminated product theft by stationing an officer in its stores.
• Police officers are able to call in reinforcements quickly if a major issue arises.
Why outsource off-duty management?
The answer is simple – save time, limit risk and gain access to bench strength and security expertise.
Time is tight. Staffing regular full-time employees is a major challenge in today’s environment, let alone spending hours each week coordinating with law enforcement agencies to get a uniformed officer on site to manage security. Doing it yourself can be very time consuming.
In addition to alleviating the time burden, Summit has connections to a host of law enforcement agencies. Beyond the local police department, we work with sheriff’s departments, municipal police, state troopers, etc. We have a 97% staffing fulfillment rate, compared to an industry average of 60-65%, so no post goes dark and your business remains secure. Beyond staffing, we handle every aspect of the administrative process – onboarding, hours tracking, payment and tax documentation. Summit off-duty officers also have the backing of a generous general liability insurance coverage (which is not typically offered when working direct through an agency).
Why choose Summit over another ODO provider?
Our customers say it’s our personal touch that makes the difference. We are committed to being there when you call. Our experienced, dedicated client relationship managers understand our client’s businesses, anticipate their needs, and deliver what they need when they need it. And we treat officers like we’d like to be treated – avoiding last-minute calls, paying them on time and being there when they need us.
We provide off-duty services to a variety of industries, including the construction industry, energy & utility companies, manufacturing & warehouse sites, healthcare facilities, restaurants, retailers and more. In addition, we support corporations, supplementing security teams to protect facilities and employees during tense times brought on by civil unrest, terminations, natural disasters or other scenarios.
What is Summit’s experience in OD management?
Our roots go back to mid-2000 when CEO Chris White was working in law enforcement and juggling a lot of off-duty jobs. He determined there had to be a better, more efficient way to manage more jobs to the benefit of the officers, the businesses they served and the community at large. From this experience, Summit was born. Today, Summit is made up of senior leaders from both the security industry and law enforcement who bring their expertise to help companies design effective security solutions and provide reliable staffing.
Do off-duty officers cost more than security guards?
In most markets, yes, it costs more to hire an officer than a security guard. Though, that divide is becoming narrower given the staffing challenges of today’s market and the need to pay more to hire security guards. The data shows, police officers are more effective at deterring and stopping crime, but for low-risk security needs, guards may be an effective solution. Summit charges a low, flat hourly rate for managing off-duty programs for businesses. The rate depends on a few factors, including: notice for service booking, hours committed and whether or not the service is recurring.
How can an officer protect my business?
Officers provide a full suite of security expertise, from traffic control to arrest. They also bring with them a calming comfort to employees and customers who may be feeling threatened or vulnerable.
Uniformed officers have a presence and authority that can stop a potential criminal in his/her tracks. They’re also skilled and trained in de-escalation techniques and able to prevent a tense situation from turning into a more serious threat to the business’s loyal customers and long-term reputation. Off-duty officers also offer a flexible solution to supplement traditional security teams.
Here are a few examples of how off-duty officers support businesses.
• One international telecom retailer virtually eliminated product theft by stationing an officer in its stores.
• A large hospital network is able to ensure all security posts are fulfilled with supplemental staffing from Summit.
• Off-duty officers can provide support in times of natural disaster, when local police are consumed with response.
• Officers can keep traffic flowing smoothly in congested areas such a manufacturing facility, events, construction sites and more.
Does Summit cover risk and liability?
At Summit Off Duty Services, we’re all about making it easy to outsource off-duty officer support while protecting your business. We don’t want insurance to stand in the way of businesses and officers connecting to create safer spaces, so we offer coverage to benefit all parties.
Our general liability coverage is generous, extending protection to the business in the event of legal action against the business or its employees, including off-duty officers. It also covers medical costs in the event someone is injured in an accident. As an additional and optional layer of protection, officers working jobs for Summit have the opportunity to purchase additional workers’ comp and occupational accident insurance per job.
What will be expected of me as a customer of Summit’s?
We work hard to make it easy for our customers to work with Summit. Summit has grown over the past 15 years based on referrals and the strength of our relationships. We will fully and expertly manage your off-duty officer staffing needs, reporting to you as often as you’d like.