Two Salt Lake police officers who moonlighted as security guards at a west Salt Lake bar are being investigated by the department.

Nearly two weeks after the officers quit working security at Shakers, a private club at 1726 W. North Temple, a man was shot to death in the club's parking lot.Salt Lake Police Chief Ruben Ortega said he instituted a policy that forbids officers from working security for businesses where the "primary source of income is the consumption of alcohol."

He said the officers were working security for the private club in violation of that policy. The two officers, which he declined to name, are also being investigated for working at the club while they were on duty. The shooting and questions involving police security at the bar brought the issue to light.

Both officers continue to work in their regular assignments while the internal investigation is conducted, he said.

"There's no doubt we'll be looking into what was going on in that bar," Ortega said. "We'll examine their licenses to deter this from happening again."

Club owner Alan Grnja said he didn't know if the officers were on duty or not but said they worked for him until two weeks before the shooting, providing security in the parking lot of his business.

Grnja said the officers told him they'd no longer be able to work for him unless he got other businesses to help pay them to provide security for the entire area. He filled out paper work for that but was still told the officers couldn't provide security for his club.

Grnja said it was a third officer who first introduced him to the officers under investigation. Grnja said he knows of a number of clubs that use off-duty officers as security outside their clubs. The Deseret News could not confirm whether other clubs do or did employ police officers, which would have been a violation of Ortega's policy.

Assistant Chief Larry Stott said if officers were working at private clubs or bars, then they did so without the department's knowledge or authorization.

Stott did attempt to allow officers to work security for a group of businesses in several areas, and some of those businesses included private clubs or bars. The difference under these circumstances, Stott said, was who paid the officers for their off-duty work. Rather than having the money come from a bar owner directly, it came from a group of business owners interested in having security for the entire area. But those arrangements didn't work out, he said, so the department recently ended that practice.

Grnja said he doesn't know why police don't want to help club owners with security because they respond to calls for help after the trouble is well under way. The officers' mere presence, he said, is a deterrent for trouble.

Ortega said allowing officers to work for club or bar owners creates a "conflict of interest."

The chief said he's very supportive of officers working off-duty because he knows they don't make enough money working strictly for the city. He said he has to explain the practice to city officials who are reluctant to allow the officers to use the city's cars, uniforms and weapons because of the liability involved.