Resorts Hire More Temporary Cops, Differ On Gun Policies


More resort cities are hiring temporary police officers during he summer tourist season, Abraham Pizam, dean of Tourism Management at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, tells USA Today. Once, cities “thought, these (tourists) are not taxpayers, so why bother with protecting them because they don’t have a vote and they can’t affect our livelihood,” he says. “Now, it’s a different story.” Tony Narr of the Washington-based Police Executive Research Forum, says, “Whenever you put someone out in the public with a badge and a gun [] that’s a liability whether it’s a full-time police officer or a summer seasonal,” he says. “They need to make sure to hire the right people and give them the training to the best degree that they can.”

The Laguna Beach, Ca., police department adds 20 seasonal officers who wear special uniforms, carry pepper spray, and help monitor beach behavior, says Sgt. Jason Kravetz. He doesn’t see the benefit of expanding their power to carry guns. Panama City Beach, Fl., leans heavily on part-time officers for weekends and special events. The panhandle beach city typically has about 40 such officers. They wear regular uniforms, travel in police cars and carry weapons, which they must purchase themselves. Some tourists complain that the inexperience of seasonal officers leads them to power-trip. “If you pay for an undertrained workforce, you get what you pay for. They’re rent-a-cops. Everyone thinks so,” says Andy Kitzrow, 24, an Ocean City, Md., weekender. Martin Kanipe of Professional Governmental Underwriters says resort towns typically pay for additional liability insurance coverage for seasonal officers.


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