Posted: Jul 23, 2012 12:00 PM by Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Carencro Police Chief Carlos Stout wants to know if he and other chiefs can be hired to do private security, just like off-duty police officers. The Advocate reports the Louisiana Board of Ethics postponed a decision Friday, opting to continue its analysis until next month's meeting. Board staff drafted a proposed advisory opinion that concluded that the private security activity would be prohibited under state ethics laws. Ethics Board administrator Kathleen Allen said the position is consistent with prior opinions as well as a stance the board took in bringing charges against St. Gabriel Chief Kevin Ambeau who owned a private security business. Under state law, a public servant is banned from receiving anything of economic value from any service which is devoted substantially to the responsibilities, programs or operations of the public servant's agency. Ethics Board Chairman Blake Monrose questioned how it was permissible for police officers to do the extra security detail work but not police chiefs. "I do not understand drawing the distinction," Monrose said. Allen said state law allows police officers to provide security details when they are off-duty. Several board members said police chiefs' jobs are 24-hour so they aren't ever off-duty. In a letter to the board, Stout said he wanted to "clarify the situation" on behalf of the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police. Stout wrote that several communities, including his, continue to grow which "often puts restraints on a police agency when it comes to personnel and manpower." "As our towns and cities grow, our business owners continue to request paid off duty commissioned police officers to work at their businesses," Stout wrote. In his agency, Stout said the assistant chief and command staff do the off-duty scheduling with the program open to all who want to participate.