What are they doing when theyre not on duty?
What are they doing when they're not on duty? spd

As the FBI investigates off duty work by Seattle Police officers, interim mayor Tim Burgess today signed an executive order to end private companies' management of that off duty work.

"These practices were not stopped in the past," Burgess said after signing the order. "Ignoring them stops today."

The executive order directs the Seattle Police Department to create an internal office to manage cops' off-duty work, rather than giving private companies that task. Burgess said that follows national best practices and many other cities' model for managing the security work cops do when they're off duty.

"The current system involves obvious conflicts of interest and creates a serious public trust challenge," Burgess said today.

"We are not going to stop officers from being able to work off duty," Burgess said. "That’s a legitimate activity they engage in. We’re going to regulate and manage how that is done."

The FBI is currently looking into whether the companies that provide off-duty officers for construction sites and garage security, including one company with ties to the Seattle Police Officers' Guild, have engaged in intimidation and price fixing. One startup company, Blucadia, claims it has been "blackballed" by SPOG after competing with two more well established companies. Blucadia claims potential customers have worried whether officers will show up for emergency calls if they use the company.

According to the executive order, a task force including representatives from the city's human resources, technology, budget, and legal departments will make recommendations for exactly how to change off duty work practices and report back to the mayor by November 14. Burgess said today he intends to "take action" on those recommendations before he leaves office on November 28.

Exactly what the new office will do will be worked out by the task force. In Denver and Portland, companies who hire off duty cops sign contracts with those cities. And in Portland, the city sets pay rates.

Burgess and Seattle City Council public safety chair Lorena González acknowledged today that cops' off-duty work has been a concern among reformers for years. UPDATE: The move to stop the private practice of managing off-duty work was also in the city council's recently passed police reform legislation, which reformers have worked on for several years. That legislation has not yet been approved by a federal judge and some elements of it need to be bargained with the police union. This order attempts to bypass that process.

“It should have happened earlier," Burgess said today. "As a council member, maybe I should have done more. But I wasn’t mayor then and I am now and we’re taking action.”

Burgess said he had spoken to SPD Chief Kathleen O'Toole about the executive order and that she and department command staff were "very supportive." He said City Attorney Pete Holmes is "fully committed" to the executive order.

Some aspects of changing off-duty work may be subject to bargaining with the unions that represent officers but Burgess would not elaborate. A representative for the Seattle Police Officers Guild—which has filed an unfair labor practice complaint over another mayoral executive order on body cameras—did not immediately return a request for comment.

UPDATE: SPOG says it will take "legal action."

Today marks 1000 days that the men and women of the Seattle Police Officers Guild have worked without a labor contract. There are no dates scheduled for labor negotiations. Rather than announcing that he is ordering both sides back to the bargaining table, Mayor Burgess has chosen to issue an Executive Order on Secondary Employment.

Officers have worked secondary jobs for decades as a means to supplementing their income. Current SPD Policy states that Officers are required to have an off duty work permit for each and every secondary job they work. The work permits must be approved by the Officers chain of command prior to working an off-duty job. Officers are not allowed to work more than 24 hours of off-duty employment in any week. All Seattle Police Officers are subject to discipline through the Office of Professional Accountability system if the policy is not followed.

Why the need for another Executive Order? If there are changes sought by the City, why can’t those changes be accomplished at the bargaining table? This is yet another example of the City violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and State Labor Law. SPOG ALWAYS follows the CBA and State Labor Law!!

SPOG will be taking legal action on this order. Not to oppose the changes, but to demand that the City stop circumventing State Law.