Questions for Police Officers


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luigi
September 14, 2009, 08:37 PM
I ask these questions purely from curiosity. I like to know how things work

1. Do you or your department own your side arm.
2. Do you leave your sidearm at work or take it home (assuming it belongs to your department)
3. Are you allowed to carry a back up sidearm, and if so
4. Is it yourís or your departments?
5. Is it the weapon you normally carry off duty?
6. Do you think itís wise to carry a back up that is compatible with the magazines your primary side arm uses?

As I said I have no particular reason for asking these questions other than curiosity. My thanks to all who choose to respond

Luigi Botticelli

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Trebor
September 14, 2009, 09:11 PM
I'm not a cop but I can help a bit.

First off, there are thousands of agencies across the U.S. and they don't all have the same requirements. I believe that most agencies own and issue the officer's pistols, but some agencies do require the officer to purchase their own duty sidearms. In those cases they either have to buy a specific model or can purchase from a small list of approved types. (And I'm sure there's an agency somewhere that let's officers carry whatever they want, if tey can qualify with it. That would be rare though).

As to the rest of your quesions, it will depend on the department. Some allow sidearms to be taken home. Some don't. Some allow back-up guns, some require back-up guns, some don't allow them at all. Etc. Etc.

I doubt that most officers pick a back-up because it uses the same mag as their primary. They probably pick a back up based on it's size as it is carried concealed and size is more important then an open carried duty gun.

GRIZ22
September 14, 2009, 09:33 PM
I'm a retired LEO and trebor answered your questions well.

The short answer to all your questions is it can be either way.

To be a little more specific is generally the larger the agency the more restrictions. For example NYPD ,the largest police dept in the country, specifies certain makes and models of firearms that can be carried on and off duty. A 5 man police dept is likely to have fewer restrictions.

One of the trends I've seen is many agencies buy or specify compact semi autos. The logic behind this is the officer can carry the same gun on or off duty. Many LEOs are not firearms enthusiasts and learning one gun simplifies training.

Some of your questions I can respond to with my own preferences.

I have always liked the idea of a backup gun. You only need to see guns break down on the range often enough to convince yourself to carry a back up. I've also felt that a back up gun has more uses off duty than on. Off duty if something happens you are probably going to have to settle it by yourself without all the help you can get on duty. Another reason is if you are with someone else who is trained but not armed, you can give that person your backup and double the bad guy's problems.

I don't think magazine compatibility is essential for a backup although it is a consideration. Most likely the most used back up (I'm not saying 90% or even half) is some version of a 5 shot J frame S&W. Simple to use for all the reasons I gave and easy manual of arms.

Steve in PA
September 14, 2009, 09:35 PM
1) I own it

2) I would never leave my firearm at the station. It goes with me.

3) Yes

4) It's mine

5) I have several handguns to choose from for off-duty carry.

6) The magazines aren't compatible.

beatcop
September 14, 2009, 09:54 PM
1. Do you or your department own your side arm. PD

2. Do you leave your sidearm at work or take it home (assuming it belongs to your department) Home

3. Are you allowed to carry a back up sidearm?
Yes

4. Is it yourís or your departments?
No

5. Is it the weapon you normally carry off duty?
Yes

6. Do you think itís wise to carry a back up that is compatible with the magazines your primary side arm uses?
It's over rated

coloradokevin
September 15, 2009, 05:09 AM
1. Do you or your department own your side arm.
-We buy our own firearms, with the exception(s) of some department issued AR-15's and Remington 870's (though we CAN buy those)

2. Do you leave your sidearm at work or take it home (assuming it belongs to your department)
- Belongs to me, except for the shotgun (I have my own rifle, pistol), both go home with me.

3. Are you allowed to carry a back up sidearm, and if so
-Yes

4. Is it your’s or your departments?
-This may surprise you, but I don't actually carry a back up sidearm these days; it would be mind if I did. I have enough crap to tote around on the belt already, plus body armor, and impact weapons, and boots... More isn't always better in my mind. I'm required to carry a knife, and that is my back up!

5. Is it the weapon you normally carry off duty?
-I normally carry my duty weapon off-duty, though I sometimes carry a subcompact Glock when the weather is hot and the clothing is light.

6. Do you think it’s wise to carry a back up that is compatible with the magazines your primary side arm uses?
-It can't hurt, but I don't feel that it is necessary.

C-grunt
September 15, 2009, 05:30 AM
1) Mine is the depts but I can buy my own. Have been thinking about it but I really like my Glock 22, its proven itself. Also I can buy it when I retire for like a buck.

2) Take it home

3) Yes

4) Mine

5) I normally carry my Glock 27 off duty

6) Yes and no. If the main weapon gets damaged you would have the extra mags. The chances of that happening are pretty slim and if it did, I still got my partner and she can shoot pretty darn well.

WC145
September 15, 2009, 06:45 AM
1. Do you or your department own your side arm.
I own all of my weapons, including long guns. My dept reimburses me for ammunition.

2. Do you leave your sidearm at work or take it home (assuming it belongs to your department)
Since I own them, they stay with me.

3. Are you allowed to carry a back up sidearm, and if so
Yes

4. Is it your’s or your departments?
Again, all of my guns are owned by me.

5. Is it the weapon you normally carry off duty?
Yes, my BUG is my usual off duty piece.

6. Do you think it’s wise to carry a back up that is compatible with the magazines your primary side arm uses?
I think it is a no brainer if you prefer to carry an auto as a BUG, assuming you can carry it comfortably. Howver, my choice is to carry a laser gripped snubbie that has been rechambered to match my primary. To me a BUG is a last ditch weapon, so I want one that will function under the worst possible conditions. That is why I chose a revolver with laser grips, it is less likely to fail and I can put rounds on target even when I can't line up the sights.

Justice5
September 15, 2009, 07:15 AM
1. The department owns my primary sidearm.
2. I take my sidearm home, some officers do not. It's your own choice.
3. We are allowed to carry a backup. Nothing smaller than a .380 and anything you want as long as the range officer deems it safe and appropriate.
4. Backup weapons are personally owned, not issued.
5. I have two backup weapons, and I switch out on carrying them off duty.
6. I believe it is a great idea to carry a backup with compatible magazines, simply for extra ammo, or in the case of Glocks, using the other magazines. However, I don't because my duty weapon is a Glock 21, and the comparable backup to that would be a Glock 30, which I have, but it's too big for ME to carry as a backup.

aquapong
September 15, 2009, 01:18 PM
1. The dept does.
2. Take it home.
3. Yes.
4. Personal.
5. I don't carry a backup gun, but I do have a regular off duty carry gun.
6. If you are going to, yes.

damien
September 15, 2009, 02:02 PM
You might also want to try asking this on the Ask An Officer forum on officer.com. They seem to be happy to answer questions like this.

http://forums.officer.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=37

9mmepiphany
September 15, 2009, 04:19 PM
i'm retired from a 1500 person sheriff's department

1. Do you or your department own your side arm.

the department issues pistols. you have the option of buying your own, but it needs to be a Sig and must be 9mm, .40 or .45.

i was old enough that my weapon choice was "grandfathered" in...i could choose from about 35 approved weapons. i've always carried a personally own pistol

2. Do you leave your sidearm at work or take it home (assuming it belongs to your department)

you have a choice, you are not required to carry while off-duty

3. Are you allowed to carry a back up sidearm, and if so

yes. it must be safety inspected by the range staff...i've seen guns as small as .22lr

4. Is it your’s or your departments?

all backup pistols are personally owned and you have to provide your own ammo

5. Is it the weapon you normally carry off duty?

not usually...depends on my mood.

6. Do you think it’s wise to carry a back up that is compatible with the magazines your primary side arm uses?

it might be wise, but i've never considered it in my selection of a BUG. size and weight were usually more important.

i spent alot of time carrying a .45 ACP or 9mm duty gun and a J-frame BUG

GRIZ22
September 15, 2009, 04:35 PM
2. Do you leave your sidearm at work or take it home (assuming it belongs to your department)

you have a choice, you are not required to carry while off-duty



9MM brings up a good point. Many agencies do not require officers to carry off duty now. I believe this is one way some agencies can circumvent liability issues.

9mmepiphany
September 15, 2009, 05:04 PM
I believe this is one way some agencies can circumvent liability issues.

i'm sure that was their intent...also to avoid having to paid OT if an off-duty officer gets involved in an (non-shooting) incident.

the line in the academy was, "the best thing you can carry is a dime"...you can tell this was a long time ago :)

eye5600
September 15, 2009, 06:36 PM
I bet many small departments either issue the sidearm or limit choice because their armorer has a minimum of training. (Having typed that, and knowing just the tiniest bit about how policing is done in rural CT, I'm thinking maybe a small department can rely on a state police armorer.)

WC145
September 15, 2009, 07:15 PM
There's plenty of small depts that have no armorer and rely on customer service. I guarantee that Maine State Police has no interest in talking to my about my sidearm issues.

9mmepiphany
September 15, 2009, 07:18 PM
we were responsible for the feeding and care of any personally owned firearms

the range staff did "recommend" that i carry "issue ammo"...to reduce the "issues" if i were involved in an on-duty shooting.

i told them, i'd be happy to when they changed what they issued from the Winchester 147gr sub-sonic JHP load...they finally changed to issuing Ranger 127gr +p+

bambam1723
September 15, 2009, 07:25 PM
1. Do you or your department own your side arm.
My department owns my sidearm (Sig P226). But when they get us knew guns we will have the option to buy it. (Which I will, it's been my constant companion on the streets for 7+ years, we're close ;))
2. Do you leave your sidearm at work or take it home (assuming it belongs to your department)
"Justice" as I named him...comes home with Daddy
3. Are you allowed to carry a back up sidearm, and if so
Yes, a Smith and Wesson 637 Airweight with .38 +P's
4. Is it your’s or your departments?
She's a Mine
5. Is it the weapon you normally carry off duty?
Sometimes....I also carry a Glock 27 when I know I'm going somewhere shady and also an LCP most of the time b/c it's the most comfortable
6. Do you think it’s wise to carry a back up that is compatible with the magazines your primary side arm uses?
Yes....but I don't because that typically requires carrying a larger back-up. In my experience when you carry a bigger back-up you get tired of it and eventually just quit carrying a back-up altogether.

Erik
September 15, 2009, 09:53 PM
1.I'm issued a primary pistol and long arms. Secondary pistols are authorized. There is a private purchase program authorizing up to two private pistol purchases. If you purchase both pistols, the issued one must be returned.
2. I always take the pistols home. I sometimes (rarely) take the long arms home.
3. Yes.
4. Mine, purchased off of the authorized list.
5. I carry either one, depending on the circumstances. Often both.
6. Not particularly. I prefer semi-auto primaries and j-frame secondaries.

ashtxsniper
September 15, 2009, 10:06 PM
1. Do you or your department own your side arm. I own mine
2. Do you leave your sidearm at work or take it home (assuming it belongs to your department)I never leave my side arm at the station
3. Are you allowed to carry a back up sidearm, and if so. Yes Kahr P40
4. Is it your’s or your departments? Nope
5. Is it the weapon you normally carry off duty? I carry the same off duty as on - G22 and Kahr P40 everyday
6. Do you think it’s wise to carry a back up that is compatible with the magazines your primary side arm uses? Not really.

Speedo66
September 16, 2009, 11:29 AM
Recently retired, but still remember some things. ;>)

We owned it, were given an annual equipment allowance to purchase.

Took it home.

Backup had to be same gun basically, we carried Glock 19, could carry Glock 26.

We owned all firearms.

We could only carry either Glock 19 or 26 anytime.

Mag compatibility? Never carried extra mag off duty.

MedWheeler
September 18, 2009, 03:06 PM
From back when I was in LE:
1. Agency issued, but sometimes carried my own in same caliber.
2. Weapon was issued at time of hire, and remained with officer until end of employment.
3, 4, & 5. BUGs were permitted. They were provided by the officer. Mine was also my OD gun most of the time, though I had others.
6. It depends on personal choice, and carry mode. My BUG rode ankle duty, which, being close to the ground, wasn't a good place for an autoloader (in my opinion) due to dirt and what-not down there. So, it was a snubby .38. During my first few years, my sidearm was also a wheelgun in .38 caliber. When autoloaders became available and issued, I did eventually cave and send a Walther PPK down to the ankle to ride BU duty. I'm not sure I'd still do that today. There were no BUGs back then that took the huge magazine of a Ruger P-85.

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