As a Police Officer (albeit part-time and voluntary) you carry a Warrant Card. This is not something that you take lightly; it is not something you carry around without a second thought to. It partly symbolises the oath you took when you first started out, you realise that this oath does not only apply when in Uniform and stands 24/7.
Getting involved when ‘Off Duty’ is a thing to be avoided, you have no back up, no Personal Protection Equipment and no handcuffs. In this day and age the majority of criminals won’t care that you are a Police Officer and they will do whatever they can to get away from you, so it is usually safe to try and avoid getting involved, all it takes is a single second to turn south.
A quote from one of your favourite films comes to mind:
‘He was a cop; he probably tried to do something.’ LA Confidential.
If ever you see something that does not warrant immediate intervention or where you feel your own safety could be compromised you call it in to the control room. Sweeping in and pulling out the ‘shield of steal’ is the last thing on your mind, it would be irrational and far from the best idea.
However, sometimes instinct can just take over, c’est la vie.