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  • Free Coffee???

    It looks like my department is heading towards a general order prohibiting us from accepting free coffee and sodas at convenience stores and discounted food at restaraunts. I am on our general order review board and have been asked to research the national trend and opinion on this matter. I would love as many replies as I could get (with agency locations) concerning your department's policy on this, even if your policy is that you don't have a policy.

    Thanks for your help. You could email me if you prefer at [email protected]

    Chris Reed
    www.hclea.org

  • #2
    We don't have apolicy that i know of.if i got into a convenience store and I know they give free drinks to officers,I usually buy something like a soda or some chips also.If they give the drink for free,I always thank them.If I walk up there and they ring up the drink,I always pay without saying anything and never think twice about it.I have seen offciers actually tell clerks that they are suppossed to get it for free and make a big deal out of it if they don't.I can't stand that and think it is very unprofessional.
    FILL YOUR HANDS!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Panacea
      It looks like my department is heading towards a general order prohibiting us from accepting free coffee and sodas at convenience stores and discounted food at restaraunts. I am on our general order review board and have been asked to research the national trend and opinion on this matter. I would love as many replies as I could get (with agency locations) concerning your department's policy on this, even if your policy is that you don't have a policy.

      Thanks for your help. You could email me if you prefer at [email protected]

      Chris Reed
      Why is a general order being created to address this issue?

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Chris

        Comment


        • #5
          Reason for Editing.
          Last edited by lazycop; 02-15-2010, 10:29 PM.
          Work smarter not harder!

          Comment


          • #6
            here in NYC we are taught NOT to accept things like free cup of coffee from merchants. Its is not considered behavior becoming of the CPR (courtesy professionalism respect) philosophy. Basically, by accepting a free cup of coffee, we are taught, that in a sense, we're setting up the next cop. Basically since all cops look the same in uniform, if one cops gets a free cup of coffee by a merchant, and then that merchant gets (for this case) a parking ticket, then he may approach another cop an ask why he has received such ticket (not the cop who got the free cup of coffee).
            That's just one senario, now of course there are plenty of times people out of generousity (non deli/merchants) buy cups of coffee for the cops, or doughnuts! So if they come up to you while on patrol, i guess you sorta have to show some form of gratefullness (accept the coffee or say thanks but no thanks).
            Anyway, that's what we're taught here in NYC by the IAB unit nonetheless. This is especially for us Auxiliaries too, since our uniform is virtually the same as the regulars, so we don't wanna set them up.
            You should call some of the department's of investigations an ask their opinions. its a two second question, worthy of being answered.
            Hope this helps.

            Comment


            • #7
              Guys I know more of you work at deparments that at least have NO POLICY against free coffee and such.

              My chief is most likely going to argue for a GO against free coffee and discounted meals. Every officer that tells me that they work somewhere where there is not a GO against this gives me some ammunition to show that there is no reason that we prohibit it.

              Help me out please? Your department location would be greatly appreciated too. Thanks.
              www.hclea.org

              Comment


              • #8
                I used to work for a department in which taking any kind of gratuity was prohibited. I think it's pretty lame that you're trusted to potentially make life/death decisions, and you have the authority to take away people's liberty, but you're not trusted to accept a cup of coffee in fear that you may be "bought off" by some free coffee. I don't have any problem paying for it, but it irks me that we weren't trusted to make that decision. I've had clerks & owners of convenience stores offer me coffee, purely out of kindness and because they supported us. I actually felt rude for NOT accepting it.

                The dept. I work for not allows it, to an extent. They even put a dollar amount to it. I don't even remember the exact amount, but basically we're allowed to accept occasional insignificant (cheap) items, such as coffee. It's basically common sense stuff, but they have to have a policy for absolutely everything, so we have one. But at least it allows something.

                I could be wrong, but it seems the more liberal areas have the policies prohibiting gratuities, i'm assuming because of thier dislike & distrust of police.
                Guns don't kill people. Chuck Norris kills People.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Our department received a complaint this year about one restaurant and one deputy. So, a memo establishing an order came out expressly prohibiting the acceptance of gratuities. I expect it to be incorporated into the next revision of our manual.

                  Even without the order, I did all I could to turn them down. I am not saying I agree that there has to be an order, I just personally don't feel right accepting free stuff on duty. I also don't go after the flyers posted in the squadroom which offer law enforcement rates on mortgages or insurance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We have this policy as well as pretty much everyone else in this area, if not state. Our's covers "gratuities" of any type. It isn't extremely strongly enforced or adhered to, but it's there if they chose to. Most of our people would never think of doing this unless it was sponsored or encouraged by a boss (it's ingrained in us from the first day on the job).
                    Nobody ever wants to have to fight, but its a darn good idea for someone to know how.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Owners of convenience stores and restaurants are the ultimate authority in this...if they choose to give me a free drink, so be it. They know the type of person I am, in that I will not show them preferential treatment for it.
                      Looks like someone took their stupid pills today.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        By not taking free or discounted items will quell any problems fast. I won't and don't except anything free unless all city employees get it.
                        Yeah we are "grown-ups" so act like and pay your meal like everyone else. To each thier own.

                        TGY
                        Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The views expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer [This sig stolen from Brickcop who stole it from Frank Booth].

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Working on the night shift,alot of the convenience stores like to give officers free coffee to get the officers into the store for a little bit of safety.Having cops coming and going all night reduces the problems in the store as far as robberies,shop lifting,gas drive offs and Public intoxs,from what some store owners have stated to me.So they are willing to give a free cup of joe to cops if they will come in and stay a few minutes while they drink it.Aot of the time,the coffee has to be thrown away every so often to remain fresh also.
                          FILL YOUR HANDS!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My agency, in Northern Virginia, has a policy regarding gratuities/gifts. It specifically mentions that it is permissible to accept a cup of coffee, but offers of more significnant value should be refused; in some situations, the officer may inform superiors of the proposed gift, and the brass will decide if it is a reasonable gift considering the circumstances.

                            With respect to the CPR philosophy mentioned above: If the merchant wants to give an officer a coffee, fine. If the merchant changes his behavior due to receiving a ticket, shame on him for attempting to bribe the officers with free coffee. The officer should be expected to be professional enough to refuse to allow coffee to affect enforcement action.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lazycop
                              It would get expensive real fast if I had to pay for every meal or drink. Silly rule to start with.

                              Real Expensive? Do you mean just like the rest of the public pays?
                              You can now follow me on twitter.

                              Comment

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