OK so from what I gather... Two off duty officers were working a side job as security at a bank. One of them shot and kiled a perp. Everything is as it should be as far as I'm concerned. The Off Duty status information release is the department putting the incident on the bank who was paying the officers.
AS far as off duty carry... it depends on the state and the department. My background is NY. When I was hired it was manditory that every officer be armed 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In fact if you were found to be unarmed you might loose some vacation time. Then I guess they thought they were being practical and allowd officers to be unarmed if they were engaging in an activity that would make being armed impossible. (going to the beach) Then they included if the officer was intending to engage in behaviour that would lend to the officer possibly losing control over his firearm. Imbibing) Now it seems that being armed off duty is optional. In Florida where I now live some departments dont authorize off duty carry. These Officers must get a CCW to carry off duty. Departments who do authorize IIRC dont make it mandatory.
Ok so when I went to the academy guns were a big deal, and an important part of a police officers life. Under the law a NY police officer is responsible to his oath 24/7. Police officers were trained to act in an off duty situation. The off duty gun was purchased by rookies as soon as they could. (6 months in my case) The department would actually award three off duty guns, one each to the top academic graduate, the top physical graduate, and the top all round graduate. Guns were a big part of our lives. Often we worked alone on a foot post, day or night. That familiar weight on the strong side hip was more than comforting. Many great arrests were made by off duty officers. Most of us also carried a pair of handcuffs and spare ammo off duty as well. The off duty gun also served as a second gun on patrol if needed, hence the famed NY reload. When did the police become afraid of guns?
Actually the story is confusing. If you read the written text there is no mention of officers working at the back in a off duty job. If you watch the video, at one point they say 2 officers were working at the bank as security and another off duty officer entered. So no one really knows what the true story was, other than a bank robber was shot and killed by an off duty LEO. As for off duty carry, nothing in the article or the video had any mention of whether LEO are required to carry off duty.I don't mean to chastise or argue, but re-read the article. Both of the officers were off-duty...one of the officers was going to the bank to make a loan payment. They were not working security for the bank. This is a situational awareness issue for ANYONE, even off-duty police officers. AND, no if the officers were working an "extra job" (as it is called down here), the onus isn't only on the bank, but the department as well. It's called vicarious liabilty, however, I really don't believe there will be any lawsuits or liability issues with this shooting.
Now, as to carrying the firearms, when I worked (now retired) for the same department these officers do, we were required to carry handguns off-duty for the same reason you did. Again, a decision these two wisely made. I know many who never carry off-duty...I don't believe it's a fear of guns but rather, "I'm not getting involved and risking pension and other investments (I won't elaborate our pension opportunites here) to some money hungry lawyer. From what I've heard, the department has given the officers the option.
The recall hearing about Florida and some of the agencies disallowing carrying handguns off-duty as far back as the '80s. I would not work for such an agency. I'll bet those agencies do not issue their retired officers state "right to carry" or federal permits either.
Kindly clarify if I am wrong but where exactly does "situational awareness" (SA) enter in this thread? You see a robbery or some form of violent confrontation or firearm exposure going on it is because you see it---period/end of story. SA, in my thinking, is the precursor to avoiding or identifying a scenario that could happen. In this case, for example, if I am "going to the bank" or using an ATM, I am looking around and watching everything and evaluating anyone or anything that could cause me a problem--why?---because we are talking money and money means BG possibilities. SA at the bank also means I do not do any banking business, particularly ATM at night where an obvious advantage is with a BG and my SA would be limited as to what is around me.
I just fail to understand SA in the context of a robbery taking place right before my eyes.