Can a police officer be on duty and at the same time act as a security guard on behalf of a property owner?

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Can a police officer be on duty and at the same time act as a security guard on behalf of a property owner?

I was taking photos while passing through a parking lot on my way home. I suspect the arresting officer was so upset by this he had to come up with something (trespassing, among other things) to arrest me for.

Asked on January 19, 2012 under Criminal Law, West Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A police officer who is acting as a security guard is not on duty and being paid by the municipality that he or she works for. However, under the laws of all states in this country, an off duty police officer is allowed to arrest a person much like an ordinary citizen as a "citizen's arrest".

This seems to be what happened in your matter.

Since you have a criminal matter pending, it is recommended that you consult with a criminal defense attorney about it before making a court appearance.


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