The multimillion-dollar business of side jobs for police is still part law and order and part Wild West, but the city of Pittsburgh hopes to rein it in soon, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Centralizing the system under which officers get after-hours assignments for private pay has taken longer than expected. Sports facilities, bars, banks and utility companies still use a mix of the police department’s system and police-run private security networks, said Police Chief Nate Harper.
Commander Catherine McNeilly has filed a federal lawsuit that hinges in part on alleged abuse of the system for assigning police side jobs. She is the wife of former Chief Robert W. McNeilly Jr., who began the process of revamping the side-job business. “We do think that the secondary employment system needs to be overhauled to promote accountability,” said Witold Walczak of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is helping to represent Cmdr. McNeilly. “It seems to be largely unregulated.”