SAN DIEGO -- After an off-duty Coronado police officer shot and wounded a Chargers player in 2006, new guidelines for cops off the clock were created by a coalition of law enforcement agencies to be applied countywide.
Two years later, all but two local departments -- Carlsbad and Chula Vista -- have adopted the formal policies that spell out how officers should respond to crime when they are not on duty, public records show.
A spokesman for Carlsbad police said the department plans to implement the policy at some point. A spokesman for Chula Vista police said the department chose to address the guidelines through training rather than through formal policy.
The San Diego County Police Chiefs and Sheriff's Association developed the guidelines with help from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Coalition for Justice.
The guidelines say off-duty officers should first try contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency so on-duty officers or deputies may respond. If an off-duty officer intervenes, he must -- if reasonably possible -- identify himself, his agency and his intent to stop criminal conduct.
The push to come up with a countywide policy came in the aftermath of the controversial shooting of Chargers linebacker Steve Foley.
Officer Aaron Mankser was in plain clothes and driving his personal car when he tried to stop Foley on suspicion of drunken driving. The encounter escalated in a Poway cul-de-sac, and Foley suffered injuries that ended his football career.
The city of Coronado recently agreed to pay Foley $5.5 million to settle a lawsuit.
When the policy was introduced in 2007, Chula Vista Police Chief Rick Emerson, president of the chiefs and sheriff's association, said the goal was to let the public know what to expect when someone is stopped by an off-duty officer who is not driving a squad car or is not in uniform.
Chula Vista Police Department officers are trained on the countywide guidelines, spokesman Bernard Gonzales said.
"These are things we have been doing for a long time," Gonzales said. "I don't think you can have a policy for every scenario."
The Carlsbad Police Department plans to adopt the policy and incorporate it into training.
"We are onboard with it as an agency," Carlsbad police Lt. Kelly Cain said.
Three other police agencies -- San Diego, Oceanside and Coronado -- have not updated their policies since the guidelines were drawn up, saying that their current policies on off-duty intervention are already in line with them.
Oceanside police issued a training bulletin reminding officers of the policy on Tuesday, few days after a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune reporter asked how the policy was being used.
El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, National City and the Sheriff's Department have incorporated the guidelines, public records obtained by the ACLU show.
However, Kevin Keenan, director of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial counties, said that it doesn't appear police agencies have taken the guidelines as seriously as he had hoped.
"Most departments, if they did adopt the policy, didn't train on it," Keenan said. "What's the use of the policy if none of the officers know about it or talked about it, and haven't been given a signal from the top that this is important?"
The shooting of Chargers player Steve Foley prompted local law enforcement to come up with guidelines for off-duty officers who encounter crime.
All but two agencies -- Carlsbad and Chula Vista -- have adopted written policies on the issue.
Carlsbad plans to adopt the countywide guidelines at some point.