Is Police Officer Agent of the Company ?
The question arises, was the policeman, the agent of the city exclusively; or was he the agent of the company, with super-added police powers, or was he acting in a dual capacity?
If a man is a policeman, and he has no duties to discharge except police duties proper for the public, if he is acting as a public policeman and nothing else, the mere fact that the company pays for his services does not make him the agent of the company.
The company may become liable for his torts by directing them, even though he be a public officer He may occupy a dual position of exercising functions for the public and the company; in which case, where he is in the discharge of duties for the company, and the tort is committed under such circumstances as not to justify it, the company is liable.
But if he commits a tort merely as a police officer, the company would not be liable, unless it was done at the direction of the company. the mere fact that a company pays for the services of a certain police officer, who does nothing but perform the duties of a police officer proper, does not make the company liable. Pounds v. Central of Ga. R. Co., 142 Ga. 415, 416-418 (83 S.E. 96) (1914).
In Wilson v. Waffle House, 235 Ga. App. 539 (510 S.E.2d 105) (1998) and Rembert v. Arthur Schneider Sales, 208 Ga. App. 903 (432 S.E.2d 809) (1993) off-duty officers in uniform had been retained by businesses, a restaurant and a shoe store, to maintain security.
In Rembert, the store owner had asked an irate customer to leave, and the customer was told to do so by the officer. Instead, the customer headed back into the center of the store, and a scuffle ensued between her and the officers.
As a result, Rembert was handcuffed and taken away in a patrol car.
In Wilson, the officer saw a customer go behind the counter near the cash register and directed the man to get away from the counter.
An argument ensued, and the officer took Wilson's arm to escort him from the restaurant. a struggle ensued outside, resulting in Wilson's arrest.
The Court determined that in both cases, summary judgment for the two companies employing the officers was appropriate