Criminal Justice Faculty Publications

Document Type



The findings of independent commissions and research derived from a data-set of career-ending misconduct among New York Police Department (NYPD) officers suggests that police engage in a wide variety of crimes while they are off-duty including domestic violence, bar fights, drunk driving, burglary, and sex offenses (The Mollen Commission, 1994; Fyfe & Kane, 2006; Kane & White, 2009). The off-duty misbehavior of police is an important concern for police agencies exposed to potential liability costs, and scholars engaged in debates about whether studies on police deviance should include acts committed while an officer is technically off-duty. The problem for scholars interested in understanding off-duty police misconduct is that virtually all of the existing data describes the misbehavior of NYPD police. The purpose of the current study is to explore the nature and character of off-duty police crime in the United States through a content analysis of news articles on arrested off-duty police officers. Data are presented in terms of the arrested off-duty officer(s), his or her agency, and case outcomes including legal and/or employment dispositions. The paper includes a discussion regarding the generalizability of existing data on off-duty police crime and the policy implications of our research.

Publication Date


Publication Title

Criminal Justice Policy Review




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