in Houston, Texas
Bar owner blames Odessa police for no-show off-duty cop on night of shooting
Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012, 05:10PM CST
By Steve Miller
police

Cops are known to miss a court appearance or two. But it seems to have taken an Odessa bar by surprise when an off-duty Odessa Police Department officer failed to show up for a security shift on Aug. 18 –- and a guy shot three people in the bar parking lot, killing one.

THEN the cops showed up.

The practice of hiring cops to work side jobs is a common practice in most cities. In Houston, it’s been abused by the city’s police officers. (Click here to view applications for outside work to the Houston Police Department.)

As this story in the Odessa American points out, having local cops moonlight can sometimes drag the city into a thorny mess; the cop didn’t show, and people are casting a bit of blame.

“The bar owner, one of the victims and a family member of [the shooter] Richardson who said he was there that night have all said police are somewhat responsible for not providing security.”

While the Odessa police department sounds like it takes this no-show pretty seriously, the fallout is possible legal action against the city.

In Houston, the legislatively-created improvement districts use officers from the different law enforcement agencies for extra patrol, a potentially lucrative endeavor. What happens, though, when an officer fails to show up and something happens in his absence? Chances are some of the burden will be placed on that no-show.

***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo of 'police car lights' by flickr user davidsonscott15, used via a Creative Commons license.

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