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  • Dilemma

    This could probably go in a number of different forums, but the majority is abt firearms.

    Does anyone work for a department that refuses to change? What I mean is, my department (42 sworn) is so "liability" and policy crazy (CALEA certified), that we have no freedom to go outside the box. We just started getting colt ARs and are handing them out 3 at a time with 9 total right now and another 3 coming in. We have another guy carrying a Stag Arms 2T that they changed the policy for so now it reads "personally owned rifles are authorized on a case-by-case basis by the chief." I ask the Lt in charge of firearms last night if next go around I can go to the rifle training with my own Daniel Defense. His response "no we have enough rifles now. The shotgun is a good weapon." This same guy is also against any supervisors having them because "how can u supervise when you have the rifle?" That's what he says and I really believe he thinks of the patrol rifle as a weapon where one of us is going to be laying down in the grass 300 yards out and him standing there with binoculars saying take the shot. Mind you, this guy did 8 years in the army in the 80's....he knows the weapon. But in my opinion his tactics and how to use that weapon in law enforcement are out of wack.

    Getting shot down with that, I proceeded to ask about weapon lights, cause we don't have that capability either. Nothing that says we can't, but nobody has them and our current holsters, SL 295, don't accept them. I solved that but getting the dept to change to the 6360, which were getting along with new gen 4 Glocks, in the next few months. So anyway his response to pistol lights on was also a no, with no real reason not to. I even tried to explain that we have night quals coming up and anyone who was interested could buy the equipment now and have it for the quals so there is no issue. Nope, not interested, even though in the spring when we said we were doing a holster change he said guys can do the lights if they want.

    Needless to say I'm extremely frustrated. This isn't just my department, as policing in RI is behind the times, but I feel like I'm stuck in a rut here with this supervisor. I'm friendly with other guys on the firearms staff and they all agree with me and know how hard it is to work under this guy. What do you think I should do here, go over him? I could very possibly get things done going over him, as I know two captains who don't think favorably of him because of his incompetence to get things done when asked. Obviously he won't be happy about it, but we're also taking officer safety here. I don't feel we are properly equipped to deal with the threats we face.

    Sorry for the rant. Needed to blow off some steam as this happened last night and really erked me.

  • #2
    No shotguns, no long guns, no weapon mounted lights at my department either. We have approximatley 6,000+ sworn.
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."


    • #3
      After all, if it wasn't used on Dragnet or Adam-12, do you REALLY need it?

      Are they still using Mo-trac four-channel low band radios too?
      Last edited by KenW.; 08-04-2013, 01:23 PM.
      I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

      Douglas MacArthur


      • #4
        Let me suggest that from a political and career standpoint, this is something that should be addressed by your union or POA and not by an individual officer.

        As an individual officer it is all too easy to win the battle but lose the war. You don't want to wind up being "that guy".
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


        • #5
          Rather than just asking, prepare a document citing articles from professional journals (copies attached) about the benefits of lights/rifles/whatever. Also, talk to other departments in your area, and if possible get copies of their policies if they allow what you want.
          The final tactic is adding that "Employees are being subject to conditions that may be hazardous to their health by not allowing XXX ", which frequently works well in 'risk adverse' departments.
          This tactic worked for me in a large (2,500) Federal agency. Seems health risks took it out of the 'firearms' people and into the health & safety folks realm.
          But a union/POA/group request may be the smart way to go. Polite, well written, backed up with facts & figures, not challenging anyone, just putting the facts before them.
          "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
          John Stuart Mill


          • #6
            Some good advice was already proffered by L-1: make it a collective effort and one that is backed up by reputable references. While you may well be passionately engaged in the subject, it is often best served to have authoritative and quantifiable references to make your case.

            Just take pause to consider the added costs and potential liability to the department once you start to change things. While for some the transition to a weapon mounted light is easy- you have to acquire the lights, new holsters and then train and train some more- all of these are expenses some agencies simply cant afford. As for the patrol rifles- keep in mind the external perception and how this may sit with the administration. The simply may not want to do a full rollout for the sake of appearances.

            Lastly- keep in mind that you are not alone. As already noted, there are countless departments throughout the US that do not get patrol rifles or lights for the rank and file officers.
            Originally posted by SSD
            It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
            Originally posted by Iowa #1603
            And now you are arguing about not arguing..................


            • #7
              Cops who use liability or "that's how we've always done it and it's worked fine" are basically lazy and live in their own little bubble of comfort and don't want anyone upsetting their applecart. It's either because they think there's too much effort to be put in and they are lazy, they are arrogant about believing they know everything, or they are insecure about being made to look like an idiot.

              I always wind up punching a sacred cow when I say this, but more than 90% of cops don't know jack about firearms and firearms related topics. At least 75% of firearms instructors I've come across are either ignorant or incompetent. Many people who are in charge of, or have a major say involving, firearms programs are poorly trained and poorly informed. They have a very limited amount that they know, and they are under the belief that it is enough. People who have military experience are some of the biggest offenders in this category. When I was in the Army, I thought I knew tons of stuff. Then I got educated and learned that I was a half step above ignorant. Big Army only trains people how to pull the trigger. Firearms knowledge and tactics from the 1980's are also woefully obsolete.

              Point being, you are dealing with people who are ignorant and content to be so because they likey don't realize that they are. The best method that I learned was described to me as "gentle pressure, relentlessly applied". Bring them articles, data, everything you can on a regular basis. Talk to them about it. Keep them on their toes, but don't get overwhelming with it. Then, just hope for change and for someone to see the light.
              "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
              -John Adams

              Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.


              • #8
                Id be willing to bet that you guys probable nothing but the quality cameras to micromanage you too.


                • #9
                  Might I suggest that you find a CALEA Accredited department that is slightly larger than yours, not too much bigger, that has a policy on rifles, weapons lights, etc. and obtain a copy of their policy. Read it like a lawyer reads a contract. Once you fully understand the scope and objective of the polices, then approach the supervisor with a CALEA approved policy. I know it is crap, but it may be the catalyst to get what you want.
                  Ut humiliter opinor


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ddurkof View Post
                    Might I suggest that you find a CALEA Accredited department that is slightly larger than yours
                    That is if the CALEA part is really important to you. CALEA has convinced many municipalities that they are a necessity; CALEA is not a necessity!

                    Being accredited by CALEA gives some administrators a warm, fuzzy feeling. There have to be uniform policies and procedures in place with any law enforcement agency, but when the Chief wears his CALEA underwear and carries their bible, you will be restricted in many ways.

                    Another option for you is to find a department that focuses on enforcing the law, protecting the rights of all citizens, and has administrators who have your back.

                    “This life’s hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

                    George V. Higgins--The Friends of Eddie Coyle


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                      Let me suggest that from a political and career standpoint, this is something that should be addressed by your union or POA and not by an individual officer.

                      As an individual officer it is all too easy to win the battle but lose the war. You don't want to wind up being "that guy".
                      This. I learned in the Army that even if you win with someone with higher rank, you will eventually lose. Guys like your LT aren't the types of guys who forgive and forget, they are the kind of of guys that foster and then foment. One day you'll step on your dick, we all do, and although that same dick stomping would be overlooked any other time, it'll be what he uses to hang you with.
                      I miss you, Dave.


                      • #12
                        Reedo, that fact is on many agencies, when someone has been promoted to his/her level of incompetence, firearms/vehicles/records is the holding area until they retire.
                        "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                        John Stuart Mill


                        • #13
                          I appreciate everyones feedback. Just to add a few things...I'm not carrying my Daniel Defense on duty now, I wouldn't carry a non approved weapon. They recently changed the policy to authorizing personally owned rifles on a case by case basis, approved by the chief. The problem lies, is my request isn't even getting to the chief. Because the head firearms instructor doesn't even really believe in patrol rifles to begin with, hes not allowing my request to even get to the chief. I honestly don't see the chief denying me if it got to his desk. The real problem is....

                          Originally posted by TheTick
                          The only guy in the entire PD that stands in the way of advancement and has the Chief's ear a little bit. Dangerous combination.
                          This. There is no way to tell whether the administration is for or against me carrying my rifle or pistol lights, because the requests are not even working there way up the chain. You'd think the head firearms instructor would be all for new weapons and tactics. Not here though. And believe me, if I thought hitting him with research would be a good idea, I would have. Due to some secondary research myself and another officer conducted, we were able to get the chief to sign off on active shooter bags for everyone with medical supplies and training, as well as get new Safariland 6360 holsters (which are coming soon). I'm no stranger to the killing em with research. The problem is, this particular Lt., is someone that, if he didn't come up with it, hes not hearing it. To him, I'm just some punk officer trying to be a cowboy and I couldn't possibly know more than him, as he was an Army vet. Granted, the guy knows his weapons; but all his knowledge of firearms, and tactics are from the Army 25+ yrs ago, and hes done nothing to stay current with tactics in law enforcement.

                          The union/FOP issue is one that certainly could work. Unfortunately I see that also resulting in me being singled out even if we won the battle. He knows who the guys are "pushin" to get new things around here, things he doesn't agree with but the rest of his firearms staff does.

                          And Ken W....don't even get me started on radios. Thats a whole different topic. Being across the street from the station and not being able to communicate via portable....
                          Last edited by Gmac47; 08-05-2013, 11:29 AM.


                          • #14
                            Ah yes, the guy who has 1 year of experience, repeated 25 times.
                            "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                            John Stuart Mill


                            • #15
                              Some excellent advice has already been given.

                              It would seem to me that a memorandum to the chief needs to be reviewed by the chief. Given my understanding of your policy, you might be better off sending a memorandum up the chain of command to the chief requesting permission to carry your DD rifle rather than asking the lieutenant to assign you to rifle training. Unless the chief is a complete idiot, I don't think notes like "we have enough rifles" or "the shotgun is a good weapon" would really cut it.

                              If you are a supervisor, this might be a way to let the lieutenant save face which might reduce your conflict with him. Since it is a personally owned weapon, explain that you believe agency rifles should go to rank and file first as they are more likely to be assigned to a perimeter while supervision is your primary function. Nonetheless, sergeants do show up first sometimes and may be required to perform the duties of a patrol officer. Certainly, you would hate to be ineffective on an entry in an active shooter incident because you did not have a rifle.

                              If you have forty-two sworn in your agency, I suspect your chief knows many of the intrigues of the lower ranks, especially if two captains feel the lieutenant is incompetent. He may well know about these issues with the lieutenant, but he isn't going to order the lieutenant to authorize the DD rifle and send you to training unless he officially knows.

                              Likewise, I wonder what the chief knows about the pistol-mounted light proposal. After all, he signed off on the purchase of the 6360 rather than a presumably less expensive holster which will not accommodate a PML. It would be fiscally irresponsible of him to buy a more expensive product when a less-expensive one is available.

                              I'd also suggest you check with other agencies around the country, but especially in your area. If Providence, Pawtucket, Newport, and RISP are doing something, it will be harder for the lieutenant to explain why he knows better.

                              Good luck and be safe.
                              John from Maryland


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