It may be invasive and it certainly is uncomfortable, but the reality is that employees don’t have a claim to much privacy when they are being paid to work for someone else. Of course, people should not be visually monitored on a bathroom break or have Human Resources listening in on every casual conversation with a coworker. But management has a right to expect that you are working when you are paid to be working, not sending personal emails, spending time on social media sites or taking a nap.
This is especially true of those on the public payroll, who are paid by taxpayers. Police work fewer days, get better pay and vastly better benefits than the average taxpayer who pays for their services. It is more than reasonable to expect that when they are on the clock, they are performing their duties as directed.
Most of the complaints are little more than juvenile whining. One officer claimed that he might get in trouble if he spent 45 minutes talking to a confidential informant in a dark alley. Is he suggesting than management won’t approve of good police work? Or that he can’t trust management not to leak the name of his source?
Conscientious officers should welcome the scrutiny. Among other things, it can protect them from false accusations.
Besides, as law enforcement people are so fond of saying to the rest of us: “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.”
Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org