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An Unsafe Department


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  • An Unsafe Department

    Fellow Officers,
    First of all, I am posting this anonymous for various reasons so, please, respect my anonymity.


    I work part time seasonally for a certain department as a “Parking Enforcement Officer”. I am going on my 3rd year working for the small department of 10-12 peace officers. It is a good gig as I am going through graduate school working towards a master’s degree while taking every civil service police test I can find. I do have peace officer arrest powers even as a “meter maid”. We are uniformed with a white shirt (blah security guard lookalike), black pants, duty belt w/ assorted tools, radio on the same channels as the sheriff, and a gold badge to be worn conspicuously. Besides the obvious of writing parking tickets, we spend at least 60% of the time doing other things such as directing traffic, manning posts, handling complaints, and doing a lot of overall law enforcement work. We handle everything from bee stings to felony arrests. We only work beats and are reactive not proactive regarding crime (IE we do not serve arrest warrants, only respond to calls for service and what we observe). Our “objective” or “mission” is to relieve pressure from the local sheriff during the busy tourist season.

    The administration does not want to pay for higher insurance costs so no officers of the department are issued firearms or less-than-lethal weapons, even though we are all required to train with them by state law. The administration states that the county sheriff is only 10-15 minutes away so they can handle anything that gets “serious”. We are not permitted via policy to open carry a duty weapon on the job.
    It bothers me that we are not issued duty weapons or bulletproof vests. I am young and someday hope to become a full police officer, and I have taken this job as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. It is a great opportunity and experience but I honestly feel unsafe working with the level of conspicuity compared to the level of protection provided.

    My biggest goal is to come home safe and alive to my fiancé every night.

    In the past “season” we have had over 100 arrests between the 20 officers. We have had numerous domestics, assaults on police officers, and other various events where we put our lives in danger for the protection of civilians. The thing that sticks out most to me is that twice I have been instructed to BOLO individuals who have been reported as brandishing pistols at other citizens earlier that day.

    As with any department, the officers will “pick on/harass/play around” with each other for any reason we can. Last year I wore a KaBar Law Enforcement TDI hidden behind my radio and a 4x D-cell mag light and I was the butt of a few jokes once my fellow officers spied the weapon and huge flashlight. I don’t care what the others say; I am going to continue to wear the knife (hidden from plain view of course) and carry the flashlight for my personal protection.

    I am going to go out with my own money and purchase a bulletproof vest to wear under my uniform regardless of how “paranoid” my fellow officers think I am. My fellow officers feel that this is unnecessary as they say over and over “nothing is going to happen”. I am going home to my family every night.

    I usually CCW when I am not at work and I feel personally comfortable with carrying a handgun. I am not looking to get into anything as some gung-ho wanna-be police kid, but quite contrary I do not wish to be a “sheep” as per LTC Dave Grossman’s speech. I have a fiancé and myself to protect, and I am a visible law enforcement officer of my community and I have been recognized as an off duty officer by citizens on numerous occasions.

    Our department has no official policies laid out for anything. Policy is via word of mouth, “memos from the mayor”, instructions from supervisors, and tradition. I have not seen or heard any policy regarding CCW on the job but I know that if my fellow officers *find out* someone is CCW on the job it will result in “trouble” via disciplinary action or termination.

    I am considering whether or not to CCW on the job with the logic that if I am in a situation that requires me to reveal the weapon, the loss of the part time job is worth the protection needed. I am going home to my family. We have had shots fired on officers and it is just by genuine luck one of us has not been killed in the line of duty.

    1. Do the benefits outweigh the risks of CCW on the job for me?
    2. Where is the best place for me to have a holster? IWB is out of the picture as it will show through the white shirt; a vest holster is probably not the best idea because it will already have attention drawn to it, and so I was thinking an ankle rig. It shouldn’t show through black pants, and I can’t think of a better solution.

    Please, keep this informative and don’t reply “just quit if it’s so unsafe” or “stop trying to play real-police”.
    I want to thank everyone who participates in this thread in advance and to wish everyone to keep safe.

  • #2
    Hmmm, your last paragraph seems appropriate.
    "a band is blowing Dixie double four time You feel alright when you hear the music ring"

    The real deal

    Outshined Pujulesfan Bearcat Chitowndet Sgt Slaughter jthorpe M-11 Lt Borelli L-1Sgt CHP Nikk Smurf Presence1 IcecoldblueyesKimble LADEP ateamer ChiCity R.A.B. Jenners IrishMetal GoldBadge willowdared Monkeybomb PhilipCal pullicords Chit2001 Garbageman Narco CruiserClass Fuzz 10-42Trooper Tex4720 irishlad2nv bajakirch OnThe gurmpyirishmanNYIlliniSgtScott31 CityCopDCcgh6366 FJDave


    • #3
      It's not what you want to hear, but I don't think anyone here is going to advise you to carry on the job when it's such a clear violation of policy. You're exposing yourself and the dept. to a huge liability by doing so, and if you ever had to use that firearm to defend yourself or someone else, you'd be in a HUGE jackpot, regardless of whether or not it was a good shoot. I'm sure it seems to be a good stepping stone, but not worth the risk to work an UNARMED LEO job. Even Barney Fife was allowed to have ONE bullet, and the days of Mayberry are long gone. These are dangerous times. Good luck.


      • #4
        “just quit if it’s so unsafe” or “stop trying to play real-police”.
        "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -George Orwell

        "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing diapers." - Blues Brothers


        • #5
          Yup....what you don't wanna hear is the best advice. You got hired there....what did you expect???
          Originally posted by Smurfette
          Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
          Originally posted by DAL
          You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.


          • #6
            What does your official job Job description say? Is it that you are a “meter maid” or a LE multiplier?


            • #7
              You will get the advice you need here. Otherwise post your question on mallcop.com.

              It's better to leave a job that is unsafe then to be fired from a job because your trying to be safe.
              Confucius say...
              Due to the Juvenile bickering and annoying trolling committed by members of this forum I have started an igore list. If your name is listed below I can't see you.

              CityCopDC, Fire Moose, Carbonfiberfoot, Damiansolomon


              • #8
                Okay, the first thing I'm going to tell is, you don't get to dictate the terms and conditions under which your questions are answered. Now that we're clear on that, I offer you this. Anything that you do, contrary to established policy is a potential liability situation for both your employing entity, and you. While the way policy is disseminated on your agency may be deficient, it is arguably, still policy which you are subject to. The decision to continue working under the conditions you've described is yours to make. No one here can make it for you. If, in your judgement, the conditions represent a hazard you're not willing to accept, then you should consider resigning. OTH, if you can live with them until you find a better job, then do so. Keep in mind that in applying the second option, you remain subject to agency policy, no matter how imperfect it might be.


                • #9
                  1st ensure your wife or family has instructions and evidence to bring in front of a jury why you are dead and why that agency is to blame.

                  2nd be smart and stay back from conflicts that could result in you being placed in danger. Call the SO.

                  3rd can you carry any weapons,?? Taser, baton, pepper?

                  4th look for another job! No way in hell would I wear a badge and not carry a weapon - at least a baton preferable a full size capacity pistol.
                  Any views or opinions presented by this prenomen are solely those of a burlesque author and do not necessarily represent those of a LEA or caementum couturier.

                  nom de plume

                  This is the internet- take all information with a grain of salt. Such could be valid and true or could be typed just for playing devils advocate.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by grumpyirishman View Post
                    “just quit if it’s so unsafe” or “stop trying to play real-police”.
                    Dude, take the advice....
                    Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.


                    • #11
                      Thank you all for your responses.

                      1. My department has never said a word either way about CCW. From talking to a few "political" friends, I think that if I want to carry something concealed on the job then I should ask for a policy clarification on the subject from my superiors.

                      2. In response to "H20Dawgs", in a theoretical OIS, besides an administrative violation that would probably lead to me getting fired, would there be any more liability-risk in comparison to a civilian self-defense shooting?

                      3. LT Dangle, my job description states that one will "uphold the law, issue citations as necessary, and act as a liaison between the local government and its citizens." There is no "official" written job description, just what the Mayor stated during the interview.

                      4. PhilipCal, thank you for your post. This lays it out "like it is" and makes a lot of sense to me.

                      5. ryker, we are not to carry any "weapons". Every officer usually carries a knife or two, and about half of us carry a big Maglight. Of course, these are tools and not weapons . And yes, I do play it smart and back away from potentially serious situations. The SO is only a mike-key away.

                      Thank you all and I hope to continue this discussion.


                      • #12
                        You've worked there for three years now and you have delt with their "Policies" for that long? I'm venturing a guess that these concerns did not come out one night after watching Steven Seagal Lawman. I'm thinking there's more to this story than stated.

                        I have a hard time believing a police department would send a fully sworn police officer to perform duties without a firearm. I'm feeling a part time "employee" of a small department whose duties include parking enforcement and parking enforcement alone. But this employee of this police department would like to carry a firearm while cutting tickets all day because he is an employee of a police department. But that is frowned at by the brass and officers, so he wants to hear police officers tell him that he needs to fight the policies and carry a gun.

                        I'll play though!

                        I think you want to hear everyone tell you to carry a firearm, that you are a police officer and police officers carry guns. But, like everyone before me stated, you deviate from department policy and mess up, you're up a certain creek without a paddle. Don't risk it, get another job.

                        EDIT: And BTW, why would they train with these weapons and not issue them? I may be wrong here, but something smells weird...


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by anonparkingofc View Post
                          I am going on my 3rd year working for the small department of 10-12 peace officers...
                          You stated that you are on your 3rd year, was these "problems" evident when you started?

                          Is this a recognized Police Department?

                          Bear with me, trying to formulate a relevent answer without sounding like Dangle


                          • #14
                            PEO's areound these parts are often called upon to perform other duties as needed. These are usually regulated to some of those you mentioned such as traffic/intersection control, perimeter security (maybe), and other such tasks in addition to the primary one of regulating parking. They are a great help to the sworn LEO's in the community. They are also non-sworn. They are not issued firearms (but maintain direct radio communication with dispatch).

                            As such they are also not directly tasked with any duty they could potentially put them in harm's way....ie. making arrests, responding to disturbances, tracking down bad guys. I know...anything out there is potentially dangerous but I think you know what I mean.

                            You mentioned 'making felony arrests'. Does that mean you're a sworn LEO? If so, how the Hell are you not allowed to carry a firearm? If not, how in the Hell are you making arrests? I'm not trying to berate your position. I think PEO's are generally underappreciated for what they have to put up with. I get the feeling your agency/city is using you as a door mat.

                            Pretend you're at the Amityville Horror House and .... GET OUT !
                            Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun.
                            And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son.


                            • #15
                              It is extremely difficult to offer sound advice without knowing what state you are in. But, I will state that if your agency does not permit you to carry a weapon openly, it probably would frown on your carrying one concealed. Additionally, if you are not a SWORN officer, and that liklihood is probable, then you may be open to criminal prosecution if you are involved in an OIS incident.

                              You should know that violating your current job policy may be extremely detrimental to your seeking a sworn position when you have finished school.

                              If you are so uneasy in your currect performance you should take the preceding advice to quit!

                              You have indicated that you are interested in going home at the end of your work shift. Well, if you violate department policy or state law by CCW, you are looking at no job within the law enforcement field. Such acts might indicate a lack of integrity and an obvious dislike for rules and management. In such a case, you won't have to worry about officer safety and making it home at night.

                              Good luck!
                              Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                              [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


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