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  • Need supporting documentation on benefits of patrol rifles over shotguns

    I'm a South Carolina State Constable and have recently received monthly newsletter from the Constable Advisory Council, the council that advises SLED (the agency who regulates us) with a section that states we are prohibited from using patrol rifles.

    Constables support many different agencies and have a vast differences in the type of work they perform. Most of them are older guys and the majority assist agencies in special events like parades, the fair, etc. Some of of us work regular patrol or with specialized units like K9, Marine Patrol, etc. I usually work with the County Sheriff (a full service LE agency) doing patrol; the main guy I work with does drug interdiction.

    While rarely does a long gun need to be deployed, in my short time, there have already been circumstances in which we've needed them. One memorable time was a standoff with an armed suspect (http://www.postandcourier.com/articl...PC16/140639957). While SWAT was called in, the deputy an I were first on scene and were there for some time before backup came.

    A little background on my abilities. While I don't claim to be the foremost expert on firearms, I do feel that I have a moderate level of knowledge. I'm a former Infantry Officer, an Arms Dealer (FFL) and fancy myself a gunsmith. I've done some studying on ballistics as well. As far as weapons qualifications, I've been qualified on Pistol, Shotgun, Rifle, and Patrol Rifle.

    Being an FFL and Gunsmith, I have a few, not a ton, but a few pretty good weapons. As far as a shotgun, besides a Mossy 500 that's pretty tacticool, I have a Saiga 12 in bullpup configuration that I'm sure would give just about any LE Shotgun a run for it's money. With that said, I feel a shotgun has it's place, but often times a patrol rifle may be more suited to certain situations. With the Seriff's Office, we often respond to very rural areas.

    I'm wanting to write to the Director of SLED to ask for reconsideration of this decision. I've already found some studies from academic journals and articles from professional LE magazines that I will use to support my request. What I'm asking, does anyone have any information they could send me that I could reference in support of my request? If so, I'd sure appreciate the help.

    I do believe the most powerful weapons we have is our brain and mouths. The best skill is to be able to deescalate a situation. As many of you know this isn't always the case. I'm aware that shotguns can be very accurate, but I feel that a patrol rifle certainly has it's place. While I hope to never use it, I'd rather have it on hand and not need it, than to be left in a situation where a patrol rifle could have minimized the negative impact of a situation.

    Can anyone help?

  • #2
    Question for you. Is the decision to prohibit patrol rifles for Constables embodied in law, or is it an administrative decision from the Director of SLED? If the first question is "Yes" then your solution is legislative, with all the joys that entails. If the second part of the question is administrative, you pursue a different avenue, although in the long term the solution might still be legislative.

    Once more, does this "fiat" apply only to Constables or are other classes of Officers effected as well? Now damned if that doesn't beg another question. Are Constables fully certifed, empowered officers in South Carolina? If not, that could be a part of your problem too.

    I agree with you totally in the respect that a patrol rifle could well be the weapon of choice in the tactical situations you mention. It would seem to me, in my somewhat basically oriented mind, that if you could qualify with a patrol rifle over a mandated course, and renew that qualification annually, that there should be no issue.

    Comment


    • #3
      As noted above , it sounds like your probelm is legislative

      I would start by contacting the representative to the state legislature that covers your jurisdiction and start the conversation there. THEN if you need supporting documentation , I am sure it is available many places
      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

      Comment


      • #4
        Constables are a funny thing. We are appointed by the Governor and legally have full LEO authority with statewide jurisdiction. Now legally, we are also regulated by SLED. So a regular constable has to work with a regular full-time officer (though an advanced constable can work alone), as a matter of policy (SLED Policy).

        As far as certification, another funny thing, roughly, regular officers have Class 1 (full LEO), Class 2 (Jailer), and Class 3 (Limited Duty). I believe these are regulation/policy through the SC Criminal Justice Academy. So by policy we are not "certified", by law we are full LEO's (subject to restrictions SLED has put on us by matter of policy).

        Hope that clears it up. As far as the patrol rifle, it is a matter of policy. This was a Constable Advisory Newsletter; the actual Policy and Procedures manual says what calibers of handguns we can use (just about anything up to .45 and .380 for backup only), shotguns (if trained). It does say other firearms can be carried if written approval from Director of SLED or his designee. I had submitted my qualification letter, and didn't hear anything about it (this was maybe 6 months ago).

        So I'll right and ask for permission, but I'd like to articulate a strong case based on sound research and empirical evidence rather than say "Hey y'all, can I carry my bang stick when I'm in them there woods" (spits out chewing tobacco). Lol. Appreciate the help!

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        • #5
          There is no representative. We are pretty much independent, appointed by the Governor, regulated by SLED. There is no CofC. We are however, not a one-man, badass lawman, we have to be working with an agency, which we'd fall under their CofC. Hope that makes sense. It's kind of a weird/unique position in SC (or other states for that matter).

          Comment


          • #6
            Need Supporting Documentation

            Originally posted by SkyBehind View Post
            There is no representative. We are pretty much independent, appointed by the Governor, regulated by SLED. There is no CofC. We are however, not a one-man, badass lawman, we have to be working with an agency, which we'd fall


            under their CofC. Hope that makes sense. It's kind of a weird/unique position in SC (or other states for that matter).






            What we're talking about here is your state Senator or Representative in the S.C. Legislature. Your post regarding your classification and status as Officers revealed (to me anyway) what may be a substantial aspect of your problem.

            Unless/until Constables become fully empowered, fully certified, enumerated Law Enforcement Officers, SLED will probably continue to restrict you as they have. Solution? Once more, legislative.

            You've got to have status much the same as a Trooper, Sheriff's Deputy, Municipal Police Officer, University Police Officer, the list goes on. That requires a minimum number of training hours: hours I suspect you don't receive currently.

            Comment


            • #7
              OK, let me throw this at ya. It deals with contrasts. In Texas, a Constable /his/her deputies are fully enumerated, empowered, classified law enforcement officers. As I recall they are elected/appointed in districts or areas of a county. They work alone, with another Constable, or in concert with another LE Agency. They meet ALL the requirements mandated by TCLOSE. (Texas Commission on Law enforcement Officers Standards and Education.

              You Texas colleagues, if I screwed that up, please correct me.

              OTH, In Alabama for example, Constables are all but extinct. They are not payed, do not not meet any of the POST requirements for other classes of Officers, and are seldom seen in many areas of the state. In some states they are totally non existent. Once more, these statements are not made to belittle you in any way, but only to illustrate what may be at the root of your problem with SLED.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SkyBehind View Post
                There is no representative.
                yes there is..............................You do have a state legislature. You do live in a legislative district and that district has a legislator (representative) elected for that distric
                Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                  yes there is..............................You do have a state legislature. You do live in a legislative district and that district has a legislator (representative) elected for that distric
                  Yes, in that sense there is, I thought you meant like a liaison or a constable rep for our region.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                    What we're talking about here is your state Senator or Representative in the S.C. Legislature. Your post regarding your classification and status as Officers revealed (to me anyway) what may be a substantial aspect of your problem.

                    Unless/until Constables become fully empowered, fully certified, enumerated Law Enforcement Officers, SLED will probably continue to restrict you as they have. Solution? Once more, legislative.

                    You've got to have status much the same as a Trooper, Sheriff's Deputy, Municipal Police Officer, University Police Officer, the list goes on. That requires a minimum number of training hours: hours I suspect you don't receive currently.
                    The law actually reads that a constable stands on the same fitting as sheriff. My ID says something to the effect of may enforce all laws of this state. It's not that I can't, it's just SLED's policy to only do so in emergency unless working or unless you're an advanced constable.

                    As far as statutory training, constable didn't use to meet the requirement, but now they do. Is like 60 hours required by law. Now constable are about 100, a little under 200 for advanced plus 240 of FTO.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      But back to the topic at hand, the policy and procedures manual says we can carry other weapons with approval (actually just about all restrictions have a caveat that you can get approval to not fall under those restrictions). I want done spring documentation to go along with my request. I already have some, but just thought I'd ask here as well because they're so many knowledgeable people here. :-)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                        OK, let me throw this at ya. It deals with contrasts. In Texas, a Constable /his/her deputies are fully enumerated, empowered, classified law enforcement officers. As I recall they are elected/appointed in districts or areas of a county. They work alone, with another Constable, or in concert with another LE Agency. They meet ALL the requirements mandated by TCLOSE. (Texas Commission on Law enforcement Officers Standards and Education.

                        You Texas colleagues, if I screwed that up, please correct me.

                        OTH, In Alabama for example, Constables are all but extinct. They are not payed, do not not meet any of the POST requirements for other classes of Officers, and are seldom seen in many areas of the state. In some states they are totally non existent. Once more, these statements are not made to belittle you in any way, but only to illustrate what may be at the root of your problem with SLED.

                        You are correct about our constables.They work alone mostly ,around here they do more civil work for the justice of the peace but they also at times will beat us to calls and assist us on calls also.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We actually have magistrates constables, they do civil process. Also, their are 3 types of state constables, 1 is your full time LEO investigators for certain agencies and depts like university and college police. Type 2 is retired LEO, Type 3 is volunteer (that's me).

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                          • #14
                            Yea you wouldnt be able to do anything here but pass out smiley face stickers at wall mart.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jdthor View Post
                              You are correct about our constables.They work alone mostly ,around here they do more civil work for the justice of the peace but they also at times will beat us to calls and assist us on calls also.
                              Also in some counties they contract out to provide basic LE coverage for small communities. Responsibilities vary somewhat from county to county. They are all vested with full law enforcement powers, and hold the same TCOLE (they re-branded themselves this year) peace officer license that deputies, troopers, and municipal officers do
                              In God We Trust
                              Everyone else we run local and NCIC

                              Comment

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