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Wife and I lunched at Chick-fil-a today and I saw something odd. A gentleman was there with his Gwinnett Police S.W.A.T. T-shirt on and I noticed he was carrying a Glock in a Level I retention, kydex OWB holster. I first thought he might be a mall ninja, but then I saw the badge on his belt (as he left, I saw him get into a Gwinnett County cruiser) so I was comfortable thinking he was really a policeman.

The whole time we both sat there, I wanted to go over and ask him why he was carrying in a Level I holster, but I didn't feel real comfortable going up to the guy and questioning him on his choice of gear. Can any LEOs, or anyone else, explain why a police officer, in any division, might be carrying in a Level I holster. It just seems so vulnerable to me. Yeah, I know, I carry in a Level I holster, but mine is concealed, and I think I am less likely to get into a physical altercation than a police officer, especially a S.W.A.T. officer.

Another thing I noticed was that his weapon looked like it had an extended bumper on it with a red dot on the bottom (like a hard plastic button) and I wondered if there was any significance to that.

I know, I should have asked him myself, but if he was carrying contrary to regs, I didn't want to call it to his attention that I noticed.

Any thoughts?
 

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Could have been a training day.
 
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^ That. Not saying I would carry open in a level 1, but to each his own. Some of the training is done without a weapon. When its time for lunch, and you're wearing police gear, in a police cruiser, you have to be armed. It was probably his off duty rig that he threw on so he could have lunch while armed.
 

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Training day more than likely...as far as the red dot goes... he prob had mags that he only uses for training. I have 5 mags for my glock... three are for training only so I can drop them etc...two are for carry only...no dropping.
 
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Training day more than likely...as far as the red dot goes... he prob had mags that he only uses for training. I have 5 mags for my glock... three are for training only so I can drop them etc...two are for carry only...no dropping.
Agree....we had the same practice with the mags...and most likely training day judging by the informal attire.
 
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Another thing to consider is that, being presumably well-trained, he could feel comfortable enough with his retention skills to get by without the additional hardware, and is likely much more aware and protective of his weapon than the average civilian and possibly the average LEO. Very possibly he marks every time somebody comes anywhere near grabbing distance, even though he appears at ease. Put it this way, I wouldn't come up behind him and tap him on the shoulder to get his attention.
 

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I made a few people pretty damned uncomfortable with how quickly I could get someone else's [blue] gun out of a Lv1 holster I've never seen before in academy. We were also shown a video of a small-ish K9 guy wrecked in a fight and the bad guy's inability to yank/tear the gun out of the holster was the only thing that saved his life and gave him time to pop the car door for expedient backup. Not to doubt this SWAT officer's proficiency in weapon retention, just pointing out that things can and do go south quickly and unexpectedly.

Having said this, I notice a lot of preference among uniformed and plain-clothes guys for the single retention holsters. Plain-clothes I can see. They're never alone and speed is a priority for what they do (my dept). Uniformed guys and gals, though, I can't see a good argument for. I don't like the dual retention either, but chose/choose to train more on it instead. In my mind it's an acceptable compromise: a little speed that can be overcome by training for one more barrier keeping my gun from being turned on myself or others.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
^ That. Not saying I would carry open in a level 1, but to each his own. Some of the training is done without a weapon. When its time for lunch, and you're wearing police gear, in a police cruiser, you have to be armed. It was probably his off duty rig that he threw on so he could have lunch while armed.
Thank you all for your responses. The training notion hadn't occurred to me, but it makes much sense. Like I said, I was just surprised to see an officer wearing a Level I holster.
 

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Just personal preference but I would never OC a handgun without level 2+ retention. Training is nice and so is experience, but things can (and often do) go sour real quick. I just can't see the benefit of lacking retention when your firearm is in plain view at all times, badge or not.
 

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I definitely don't carry my pistols in my level one ALS holster unless its concealed or its a training/in-service class day, etc
We have one officer that carries his duty G17 in a belt ALS holster, level 1-just the ALS, and I think its insane.
 
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