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  • off duty carry for probation officer...

    question for my fellow peace officers. Here in cali, I'm a PO. i dont carry in the field. I have a low risk caseload, so it's not warranted...well that's what they say. Anyway, if I wanted to carry off duty, what would I need to do? Unlike other agencies, my dept. just says "we don't want you to carry off duty. What you do off duty is your problem, if you shoot somebody we won't back you up," thus there is no qualification/requal policies. I'm a sworn peace officer. What would you suggest? Personally, i'm thinking about qualifying on my own per CCW standards (which are more stringent than CDCR standards from what I know) and carry my piece.

    Please advise.

  • #2
    Handgun

    Since nobody has answered yet, I will get this started. I would encourage you to go to a store that serves law enforcement agencies and try several pistols on the range. I might say get a Glock, but then someone else will say that a S&W is the only way to go. There is not just one handgun for everyone. I suspect that you don't want anything huge. As the old saying goes, for it to do you any good you have to carry it with you. If it is to cumbersome you won't have it with you when you need it. My first police service weapon was a Smith and Wesson Model 66 .357 magnum revolver. When my agencies switched to pistols, I went with a Smith and Wesson 5906. Now I have a Glock Model 22. Do your research before you buy.

    Comment


    • #3
      Absolutely try out several weapons before purchasing one. The first one I bought was a Glock 22 and followed it up with the Glock 23. For duty we are issued the S&W M&P .40, also a great gun. As far as carrying off duty I say go through the proper channels and carry.
      "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

      "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep

      Comment


      • #4
        1) what does your job description say? does it say you are a peace officer - on duty only or both on and off duty?
        2) what are your job qualifications? Is it required you have full POST training, PC 832 or ....?
        3) does your agency have a policy in writing saying you cannot carry off duty? (violation of policy may equate to disciplinary / adverse action against you).
        4) does your agency have a policy about carrying on duty? what weapon? issued or your own?
        5) since your agency (apparently) does not provide range qualification - to who's standard are you qualifying to? Will they (what ever agency your "qualfiying at" based on their firearms training willing to back you?

        You may want to instead, apply to obtain a CCW through the city chief where you live or the county sheriff (where you live). If no luck there, through the county sheriff where you work.

        You may want to get with your assocation and address this in future contact negotiations - this is your best way to handle.

        You are in a sticky situation. You have a department that is telling you they don't want / allow for off duty carry. Are you willing to lose your home and all that after no backing of a shooting you may get into? you have the money for your own attorney for the criminal / civil suits that will follow?

        I'm just saying. Have to look at the whole picture.

        good luck
        ''Life's tough......it's tougher if you're stupid.''
        -- John Wayne

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by The Expert View Post
          question for my fellow peace officers. Here in cali, I'm a PO. i dont carry in the field. I have a low risk caseload, so it's not warranted...well that's what they say. Anyway, if I wanted to carry off duty, what would I need to do? Unlike other agencies, my dept. just says "we don't want you to carry off duty. What you do off duty is your problem, if you shoot somebody we won't back you up," thus there is no qualification/requal policies. I'm a sworn peace officer. What would you suggest? Personally, i'm thinking about qualifying on my own per CCW standards (which are more stringent than CDCR standards from what I know) and carry my piece.

          Please advise.
          Wow!! I'm not conversant enough with California Law to know if you'd need a CCW Permit or not. (Sworn Peace Officer) Here's my problem with your situation, and please forgive me if I sound a little legalistic. You find yourself in an off-duty fatal force situation. You shoot the perp, and essentially, you're on your own. Going to a trial beats going to a funeral, especially your own, any day of the week. Certainly, the idea of qualifying under CCW standards is a wise one, and I would highly recommend it. In any subsequent court case, qualification, or the lack ot it could be an issue. Another thought you might consider is membership in a Peace Officer's organization which offers legal representation at both the scene of a shooting, and in any subsequent court litigation Hopefully some of our California colleagues can provide you with further insights. I don't like this, but in the situation you're presently in, you're very much on your own.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sgttom View Post
            1) what does your job description say? does it say you are a peace officer - on duty only or both on and off duty?
            2) what are your job qualifications? Is it required you have full POST training, PC 832 or ....?
            3) does your agency have a policy in writing saying you cannot carry off duty? (violation of policy may equate to disciplinary / adverse action against you).
            4) does your agency have a policy about carrying on duty? what weapon? issued or your own?
            5) since your agency (apparently) does not provide range qualification - to who's standard are you qualifying to? Will they (what ever agency your "qualfiying at" based on their firearms training willing to back you?

            You may want to instead, apply to obtain a CCW through the city chief where you live or the county sheriff (where you live). If no luck there, through the county sheriff where you work.

            You may want to get with your assocation and address this in future contact negotiations - this is your best way to handle.

            You are in a sticky situation. You have a department that is telling you they don't want / allow for off duty carry. Are you willing to lose your home and all that after no backing of a shooting you may get into? you have the money for your own attorney for the criminal / civil suits that will follow?

            I'm just saying. Have to look at the whole picture.

            good luck
            1) It says I'm a peace officer on duty. While it doesn't say i'm not off duty, the understanding is that I am not, unlike deputies and cops.

            2) I only need PC 832, the POST CORE training for PO's (some 5 week course) and a miriad of other trainings (stuff like CPR, interviewing techniques etc)

            3) I'll have to double check on the policy. So far I've only been told that the agency discourages it but cannot stop you from doing so as the penal code allows me to do so.

            4) To carry on duty, you have to make a case to the chief. Say you are in fear of your life, been threatened, that you have already taken precautionary measures etc, and that carrying a weapon is the last resort. The weapon is issued.

            5) Range qualifications are only for those who carry. They have to qualify and requal. For those who don't carry on duty but carry off duty, they're on their own.

            Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
            Wow!! I'm not conversant enough with California Law to know if you'd need a CCW Permit or not. (Sworn Peace Officer) Here's my problem with your situation, and please forgive me if I sound a little legalistic. You find yourself in an off-duty fatal force situation. You shoot the perp, and essentially, you're on your own. Going to a trial beats going to a funeral, especially your own, any day of the week. Certainly, the idea of qualifying under CCW standards is a wise one, and I would highly recommend it. In any subsequent court case, qualification, or the lack ot it could be an issue. Another thought you might consider is membership in a Peace Officer's organization which offers legal representation at both the scene of a shooting, and in any subsequent court litigation Hopefully some of our California colleagues can provide you with further insights. I don't like this, but in the situation you're presently in, you're very much on your own.
            I have yet to join the union... definitely a good idea.

            It's funny they are making this such a complicated issue. My buddy who is a C.O. w/ CDCR (Cali Corrections), is told at the academy how to carry off duty and encouraged to do so, whereas we deal w/ criminals in the community and all we've got is pepper spray. The mall security guards have guns! lol

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm a Probation Officer here in Nor Cal. Like Sgttom said, it's all based on your training and agency policy. We're armed on and off-duty...Thank God!! I can't imagine doing what we do unarmed, then again, my agency takes a very aggressive law enforcement approach (we partner with our S.O. and PD bros daily). I know that all county Probation Departments in Cali are different. We went through 832 arrest, search and seizure training. To carry, we had to complete the 5-day force and weaponry training. Then, of course, we must qualify with our agency quarterly (night shoots as well).

              No doubt that you'll have to take the "citizen" approach and get a concealed carry permit if your agency does not arm arm you on duty (and train you appropriately).

              Comment


              • #8
                Ok I checked the policy. It says that the agency "discourages" carrying off duty. Then next it says that in the event that the officer still choses to carry, that the agency will not be held liable and that the officer is acting on his own behalf and that basically if **** hits the fan, they won't back him up.

                There is nothing about training for off duty but for those who carry on duty, they have to qual quarterly.

                Soo......

                Comment


                • #9
                  either transfer to get into another assignment that allows you to carry on duty, which "may" cover you off duty...

                  OR...

                  take your chances... (I would suggest not..)

                  apply for a CCW
                  ''Life's tough......it's tougher if you're stupid.''
                  -- John Wayne

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Probation Officer-Off Duty Carry

                    Originally posted by The Expert View Post
                    Ok I checked the policy. It says that the agency "discourages" carrying off duty. Then next it says that in the event that the officer still choses to carry, that the agency will not be held liable and that the officer is acting on his own behalf and that basically if **** hits the fan, they won't back him up.

                    There is nothing about training for off duty but for those who carry on duty, they have to qual quarterly.

                    Soo......
                    There's your answer. You get involved in an off-duty shooting, and your agency is going to leave you "high and dry". Don't know if I'd want to continue working there. Just a thought, not trying to make up your mind for you. Stay safe.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      POs in North Carolina are in the same basic position. The huge majority of us are armed on-duty (only the PO I positions are not armed, they work primarily in the office or in the courts, so the division doesn't feel that they need to be armed, I don't agree, I am in an armed position and I will never take a PO I slot).

                      We are issued S&W M&P40 pistols which we carry on-duty without any other option. I like the pistol and it works for me, so no complaints there. However, our policy is kind of mute on the whole off-duty carry issue. The only reference it makes to off-duty carry is that we are not authorized to carry our state issued weapon off-duty. There is some debate as to whether POs are covered under the exemptions for LEOs for off-duty carry under NC statutes (GS 14-269), but we are clearly covered under Federal Law (HR218-whatever its statue number is now that it is law), as we are government employees, have powers of arrest, are authorized to carry firearms, and qualify regularly. The muddy the waters further, there have been POs with specific threats against them being given permission to carry their state issued firearm off-duty by the division director, which suggests it is legal under state law (state law no longer has a requirement that an officer have agency permission to carry off-duty).

                      Luckily I don't have to worry about it. I'm still a reserve officer for a municipal agency in Virginia, I'm a sworn Company Police Officer in North Carolina, and I have a CCW permit. I don't carry on my PO creds, but I think I could if I had to. I have several coworkers who want to carry off-duty, but are hesitant to do so with PO creds. I'm not sure what the answer is legally, but they would be in the same boat, the agency wouldn't back them.
                      -Landric

                      "The Engine could still smile...it seemed to scare them"-Felix

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Landric View Post
                        POs in North Carolina are in the same basic position. The huge majority of us are armed on-duty (only the PO I positions are not armed, they work primarily in the office or in the courts, so the division doesn't feel that they need to be armed, I don't agree, I am in an armed position and I will never take a PO I slot).

                        We are issued S&W M&P40 pistols which we carry on-duty without any other option. I like the pistol and it works for me, so no complaints there. However, our policy is kind of mute on the whole off-duty carry issue. The only reference it makes to off-duty carry is that we are not authorized to carry our state issued weapon off-duty. There is some debate as to whether POs are covered under the exemptions for LEOs for off-duty carry under NC statutes (GS 14-269), but we are clearly covered under Federal Law (HR218-whatever its statue number is now that it is law), as we are government employees, have powers of arrest, are authorized to carry firearms, and qualify regularly. The muddy the waters further, there have been POs with specific threats against them being given permission to carry their state issued firearm off-duty by the division director, which suggests it is legal under state law (state law no longer has a requirement that an officer have agency permission to carry off-duty).

                        Luckily I don't have to worry about it. I'm still a reserve officer for a municipal agency in Virginia, I'm a sworn Company Police Officer in North Carolina, and I have a CCW permit. I don't carry on my PO creds, but I think I could if I had to. I have several coworkers who want to carry off-duty, but are hesitant to do so with PO creds. I'm not sure what the answer is legally, but they would be in the same boat, the agency wouldn't back them.
                        Glad to hear you're able to carry both on and off-duty! I'm very fortunate to work for a county Probation Department that understands the reality of our job and arms all POs, regardless of position. We're armed and supported by our agency off-duty as well. We're a small rural county. I run into way too many of my felons and parolees off-duty to not be armed. I treat them all with respect and usually manage to develop a decent rapport with most...but I hope and pray I never see the day where I run across a meth tweaked parolee off-duty that has had 10 years to think about the PO that sent his butt to prison.

                        I'm simply amazed to hear that there are so many Probation Departments across the country that don't arm their POs and provide them with appropriate training and tools of the trade. It's ridiculous!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think I'm gonna direct the questions in the first post to my union.... should be safer that way. I talked to a PO who has been carrying off duty for a couple of years now, and he says I'm good to carry. He doesn't carry on duty, however he is due to do so soon.

                          I told my friends who are cops and CO's and they said they'd be reluctant, especially since for some reason, no Id's or creds state that I am a peace officer in ink. Unlike they do "this person is a state peace officer" yaddy yadda. I told them "yeah but I AM a peace officer and I DO arrest people." Their answer "Yeah, well armored transports have guns, security officers do too" and so on, further making me think twice about this whole ordeal.

                          It's sad that while we work with 100% CONVICTED criminals, they won't recognize the need to protect ourselves both ON and OFF duty.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Probation Officer

                            Originally posted by The Expert View Post
                            I think I'm gonna direct the questions in the first post to my union.... should be safer that way. I talked to a PO who has been carrying off duty for a couple of years now, and he says I'm good to carry. He doesn't carry on duty, however he is due to do so soon.

                            I told my friends who are cops and CO's and they said they'd be reluctant, especially since for some reason, no Id's or creds state that I am a peace officer in ink. Unlike they do "this person is a state peace officer" yaddy yadda. I told them "yeah but I AM a peace officer and I DO arrest people." Their answer "Yeah, well armored transports have guns, security officers do too" and so on, further making me think twice about this whole ordeal.

                            It's sad that while we work with 100% CONVICTED criminals, they won't recognize the need to protect ourselves both ON and OFF duty.
                            Okay, one of you California Guys correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that CDC Probation Officers carry,both on and off duty. They also are pretty "pro-active" and work closely with other LE agencies. I'm also one of those Cops who was taught a PO can be your best friend. You might consider a job switch. That decision is yours, but I honestly think it will go a long way toward solving your problem. In other words, the job switch will take place far more quickly than your current agency will permit carry, and support you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                              Okay, one of you California Guys correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that CDC Probation Officers carry,both on and off duty. They also are pretty "pro-active" and work closely with other LE agencies. I'm also one of those Cops who was taught a PO can be your best friend. You might consider a job switch. That decision is yours, but I honestly think it will go a long way toward solving your problem. In other words, the job switch will take place far more quickly than your current agency will permit carry, and support you.
                              Probation Officer here in Nor Cal. In Cali, Probation Officers work for county probation departments. California Department of Corrections has Parole Agents (yep, they're all armed). Most California probation departments are now realizing the danger of our job and arming/training their POs appropriately. It's INSANE to think that Probation Officers don't need to be armed. Every contact I have is with a convicted felon...many on parole as well. We enter the homes (a.k.a. dirtbag trailers) of our felons in the shi++iest of areas daily...with the intent to search and arrest...unarmed?? NO WAY!! Thank God I work for a probation department that takes a very aggressive law enoforcement approach.

                              Yeah, you're right, the law enforcement/probation partnership works great. We partner with our S.O. and PD bros daily. We're on the county NARC Task Force, DV Response Team, and we conduct dope hits, warrant sweeps, and probation searches with our LE agencies. It's a great win win. My LE bros provide me with great intel on what my felons are up to after hours...and in return, my probation terms and conditions can open doors (literally) that might be otherwise tough to enter. You've gotta love no need for reasonable suspicion or PC!!! My LE bros lick their chops when they find out a suspect is on felony probation. Be safe!

                              Comment

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