he Private Security Section is responsible for the processing, training, and licensing of all applicants for security licenses in the City of St. Louis. With the exception of St. Louis Police Officers, all persons performing a security function in the City of St. Louis must be licensed to do so through the Private Security Section. This includes police officers from other jurisdictions who are working in the City of St. Louis.My reading of this is that St Louis PD officers do not have to go through the PSS but I think they still have to follow the rules outlined in the text, particularly:
Watchman – A person employed without police powers and without authorization to carry weapons or protective devices. A watchman performs the tasks of observation and reporting on or in a designated area and may include patrolling a public street. A watchman has no powers of arrest, search or detention and must wear an approved uniform.... Security Officer – A person employed with certain police powers to protect life or property on or in designated premises. A security officer’s powers exist only within the established property owned or leased by the contracting employer and to incidents occurring on the premises. If qualified, a security officer may carry a firearm and certain protective devices.You'll note that a "watchman" has no police powers. So even if an off duty police officer was employed as a watchman he cannot up and run after a "suspicious male". Now we know from the report that the officer was wearing his uniform. Since the above text says that uniforms must be worn, it is possible that the officer was employed as a watchman. In which case he was NOT authorized to chase anyone who is simply "running away" without having witnessed some crime. If however the officer was employed as a security officer then his abilities are expanded. But these powers only extend to the property "owned or leased by the contracting employer". I would have a hard time agreeing that some private entity could lay claim to a public street or sidewalk or random bushes that the officer claimed Vonderitt jumped out of. So if it was the case that the officer was acting as a security officer, it would have to be shown that he was acting to protect property owned by the contracting firm. Thus far I have not seen any information naming the company that this off duty officer was working for but it seems that such information would be highly relevant towards the legality of this officer's actions. [Update] Found Kansas City's regulations
The legal authority vested in a sworn law enforcement member working off-duty employment is limited to the enforcement of federal law, state statutes and municipal ordinances. Officers cannot use police authority to enforce a private employer’s policies and regulations.Enforcement of federal law, state statutes and municipal ordinances. Again, since running away at the sight of a person in a police uniform is not a crime under any of the aforementioned codes, under what authority did that officer begin to make chase (if St Louis is under the same or similar regulations as Kansas City).