Curiousity about non-uniformed off duty policies

Curiousity about non-uniformed off duty policies

This is a discussion on Curiousity about non-uniformed off duty policies within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I know there's a considerable LE presence on the board and was curious having read another thread about it, and having discussed it with my ...

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Thread: Curiousity about non-uniformed off duty policies

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Curiousity about non-uniformed off duty policies

    I know there's a considerable LE presence on the board and was curious having read another thread about it, and having discussed it with my cousin the deputy.

    My cousin, although a LE officer, is not a gun guy. The only three guns he uses regularly are a Glock 22 (which isn't his it's the department's) and what I believe is a Smith and Wesson 640 (which isn't his either, it's his dad's). The third is a Remington of some stripe in .270, which shoots a deer once every 10 years perhaps. His department uses Colt carbines and Remington 870s (which are being phased out apparently) which he has fired once or twice.

    Anyway enough about him, I mention it only to establish I'm not 100% sure he's explained this to me in the level of detail I want.

    He has claimed to me that the only acceptable off duty guns for him are Smith and Wesson revolvers or the Glock 23. Apparently he's not allowed to carry the Glock 22 unless in uniform or working some sort of plainclothes assignment (which he never has).

    I find that a strange policy. I understand that's his job to put up with that kind of nonsense just like I put up with all sorts of nonsense at my job, but I don't understand that policy at all. What is the justification for that? There is none, honestly. Why ANY Smith and Wesson revolver and only ONE model of Glock? Is the new 460 particularly well suited for law enforcement? Is the K22 a reliable sidearm but not the Glock 19? I don't get it.

    So I was curious, what are some of the policies you've heard of, and what's the rationale behind them? Personally as a tax payer I'm a big fan of letting the officer carry whatever the heck he wants to so long as he cares to provide it, or better yet give them a break on their taxes or something every year to buy more personal equipment with. Heck I'd give each individual officer a reimbursement check on purchases of personal firearms up to a certain amount so long as it was something that could be used in a professional capacity. That saves money and lets that person choose what they know they need for their job instead of saddling them with some inane and arbitrary choice made by someone whose life isn't on the line.


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    Each dept. has their own policy. This one mentioned does sound dumb. Off duty I can carry what I want, as long as its from a decent manufacture and .380/.38 or larger. I was able to get my .32 approved.

    I can already claim guns on my fed taxes at the end of the year, as long as its used in the performance of my duties.

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    Lots of different reasoning. Alot of the time the policies are made by political LE, not duty types.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    Alot of the time the policies are made by political LE, not duty types.

    To often this is true.

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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    SIXTO, what do you mean when you say made by a decent maker? Is there a formal guideline, or is it subject to someone's subjective approval? Why the caliber limitation?

    I'm not saying that the rationale is logical or makes sense with policies like the one I mentioned, I'm just trying to understand what these agencies are thinking.

    I'll give you an example. Let's say there's a department which issues the Sig 226 in 9mm as the service gun and thier policy is all off duty guns must be Sigs and nothing else. I could fathom the reasoning if they said it was so their armorer could work on all the guns that way to insure they were all in working condition. I still don't agree with that kind of policy, just that I can follow what that determination is based on.

    Or maybe a department or agency says no olive drab guns because it doesn't look professional, I'm just making stuff up here. I'm curious as to the actual reality real officers face and what excuses or reasons are given for it.

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    We have a pretty liberal policy when it comes to guns.
    We can carry whatever we qualify with, or use the dept. issue. Glock 21. I choose to tote either a Sig 220 or a Colt Combat Commander.

    Off duty can be anything as long as its .38 special or above.

    The city dept 2 miles away from where our office is located carries the Glock 19 and they can carry only it or their backup gun off duty.

    The next dept over has no offical policy other than to qualify with it.

    The gun policys are as different as each dept. I dont think any two are the same.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    No, theres no formal set in stone policy with my dept. on "decent" makers. Most depts. do have a set in stone policy. It mustabe a S&W, or must be Glock. I guarantee that if I showed up with a Hi Point or a Jennings, it would be a no go.

    The caliber limitation is based on .38 and above widely accepted calibers for self defense and in the LE community. Most experts will tell you that anything smaller is not effective. For the most part I agree, but a .32 or even a .22 in the hands of a skilled shooter can be very effective; but those are few and far between.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    We have a pretty liberal policy when it comes to guns.
    We can carry whatever we qualify with, or use the dept. issue. Glock 21. I choose to tote either a Sig 220 or a Colt Combat Commander.

    Off duty can be anything as long as its .38 special or above.
    Okay, having to qualify with it is understandable, it demonstrates the officer can use the tool and that the tool works. Why the caliber limitations? Is .380 ACP okay? What about 9x18?

    The city dept 2 miles away from where our office is located carries the Glock 19 and they can carry only it or their backup gun off duty.
    But why? What is their rationale? Is it just purely out of spite for their own officers?

    The next dept over has no offical policy other than to qualify with it.

    The gun policys are as different as each dept. I dont think any two are the same.
    Boy it sure does sound like it. This genuinely intrigues me, I had little idea that there was such disparity on this. Normally in an industry there's a norm or a standard practice.

    This interests me very much because whether it's right or not, the rights of those in LE seem to set the tone for those of us not in LE in some ways. The kinds of rationale used to restrict officers might lend some small insight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    No, theres no formal set in stone policy with my dept. on "decent" makers. Most depts. do have a set in stone policy. It mustabe a S&W, or must be Glock. I guarantee that if I showed up with a Hi Point or a Jennings, it would be a no go.
    Interesting. What about tweeners then, things which are viable tools but aren't top shelf in some or much of the public perception, like the Ruger P series, Bersa or some of the older Taurus products? These aren't exactly big brands and even some of the people who like them will be quick to tell you it's because they're a good value.

    That seems to create a very artificial polarization of the market if most departments say only the big names even apply. How much opportunity for innovation in police service pistols is lost because departments blindly adhere to brand names, I wonder?

    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    The caliber limitation is based on .38 and above widely accepted calibers for self defense and in the LE community. Most experts will tell you that anything smaller is not effective. For the most part I agree, but a .32 or even a .22 in the hands of a skilled shooter can be very effective; but those are few and far between.
    I agree with that overall, I just sort of find it a little curious they don't trust you to draw your own conclusions. I don't like it when I'm forced to do things a certain way because someone else thinks they automatically know better than me personally. It's not that most officers would be toting .22s if they had the choice, it's that it seems the department doesn't think much of their officer's ability to reason by forcing such a policy.

  10. #10
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    Back in the old days my Dept. required each officer to supply there own weapon, 38 cal. or 357, revolver only with 4" bbl. no standard for back up and everything was out there. The changes started in 1973 with the issue by the Dept. of a S&W M 19 4", and 125gr .357 mag HP ammo. that was then the only authorized weapon for carry on or off duty. (patrol division) Dicks were in a world of there own. Much later the Dept alowed autos and bugs. (THE MORE THINGS CHANGE THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME??)

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    Why the caliber limitations? Is .380 ACP okay? What about 9x18?
    The policy specifically states that the .38 Special is the MINIMUM that will be used. Its an officer safety thing. You have to understand that Cops get to see the worst that society has to offer. That could be a 90 pound woman all hyped on meth or a 350 mentally disturbed person that hears voices in his head that are telling him everyone wants to kill him.

    Its a guide so the new officers that know nothing about guns or calibers that are first exposed to it in the academy have a good starting point.

    The smaller calibers that so many people carry will always be a subject of debate. Actuall shooting statistics will show clearly that the larger calibers are more effective than the smaller. All of them will kill.

    But why? What is their rationale? Is it just purely out of spite for their own officers?
    I dont think that "spite " has anything to do with it. I think that its purely a logistical thing. One caliber for dept issue just makes it that much easier. As an example, my own Sheriff Office issues 9mm,.40 and .45ACP ammo to use on duty. The local police dept only issues 9MM because that is all they are allowed to use. Its less headache. A responsible person that orders for his dept. that isnt a "gun type" wont want to mess with more than he has too.

    This interests me very much because whether it's right or not, the rights of those in LE seem to set the tone for those of us not in LE in some ways. The kinds of rationale used to restrict officers might lend some small insight.
    I dont think that its that big of a deal. Your very large Police depts that reside in the big citys get volume discounts on ammo,guns and all the stuff that goes with it...so not having to deal with mutliple calibers or guns can save big bucks. Smaller depts. like the one I am in, can save big bucks by letting their officers furnish their own guns and equipment. For them to furnish several different kinds of duty ammo is not the big deal that it might be for the huge organizations.


    As for the types of guns used, alot of that has to do with marketing. Glock wins that effort hands down because they chose to capture the police market, whereas others saw it diffferently. Years ago, Smith and Wesson and Colt were the big dogs back in the revolver days. Due to advances in technology,some of the other companys jumped on the bandwagon and advanced it while the big two pretty much sat on their hands. Thats why Glock and Ruger and even Beretta captured the LEO market for years, because they went after it. When the big citys did the research and the testing, its natural for the smaller depts. to go with the best results rather than spend the time and the money to prove it all over.

    I agree with that overall, I just sort of find it a little curious they don't trust you to draw your own conclusions. I don't like it when I'm forced to do things a certain way because someone else thinks they automatically know better than me personally. It's not that most officers would be toting .22s if they had the choice, it's that it seems the department doesn't think much of their officer's ability to reason by forcing such a policy.
    You might find it curious because you are a gun kinda guy. You have to understand that anymore it is not uncommon for an academy class of 50 or so people to have no one in it that has ever shot a gun before they got there. That may sound strange to us shooters, but its true. These guys and gals dont have enough background to be making decisions as to the best gun,caliber, etc. Some of them have a hard enough time just qualifying, its a totally new world to them and many of them have to overcome preconceived notions (brainwashing) of the responsiblitys of gun ownership.

    Its also a litigation thing. The same gun, the same training methods, the same ammo, all makes a dept. less liable to slick talking lawyers that insist some cop violated Bubba's rights by blasting him just because he found him in someone elses house at 2AM with a gun.

    I hope that explains some of the disparity of weapons when it comes to different LEO organizations.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    Well, I had my response all thought out, but HotGuns beat me to it.

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    Well, I had my response all thought out,
    Was it anything like mine?

    Let me hear yours...
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
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  14. #14
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    Yes, just like yours. However, you went into more depth, I just don't have the patience for all the explanation.

  15. #15
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    I usually dont ethier. There wasnt much on TV tonight...
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
    Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
    http://bobbailey1959.wordpress.com/

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