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  • Off-Duty ID

    I'm a newbie LEO. Have you guys ever had a need for carrying your badge off-duty?

    My agency issued a credential & badge wallet, but its bulky. I'm wondering if I should just carry a slimmer ID/credentials wallet without the badge while off-duty for purposes of LEOSA.

  • #2
    I am required to carry my credentials and issued firearm (either Glock 17 or Glock 43) by policy. My credentials and badge are in a separate folding wallet from my normal wallet. My federal creds come with a flat badge that stays inside that wallet. Basically I carry my wallet in my right rear pocket and creds in left rear pocket. Firearm and spare mags are inside the waistband. I wear jeans and shirts that don't scream tactical so I blend in with everyday folks.

    I recommend you switch two a two wallet setup so you're not advertising your a cop every time you go to pay for something. People can wear the tacticool clothing and badge on their belt like a cool guy but I don't recommend it. It's like advertising you're not only a cop but armed. EVERY criminal worth their weight in salt will see you and peg you as a threat before you know what is going on. Plus, you'll have less back issues than with carrying one large wallet in a back pocket (your older self will thank you I promise).
    US Army Veteran
    The opinions expressed above are not those of any official capacity or agency. Fix yourself.

    Comment


    • Badger99
      Badger99 commented
      Editing a comment
      Are feds issued both a flat wallet badge w/creds and a belt/chain badge?

    • darkhorse6
      darkhorse6 commented
      Editing a comment
      With my agency yes. One badge goes on a belt clip or on a uniform shirt and the flat badge stays in the credentials.

  • #3
    Thanks. I do carry a separate wallet with my personal items. Just wondering if I should downsize to creds only, no badge.

    My agency policy states both badge and creds are necessary only for airline travel. There's no written agency policy on carrying both badge and creds off-duty while armed. Since there is no official written policy I am leaning towards LEOSA which only requires agency credentials/ID with a photograph.

    Comment


    • #4
      Carry a firearm, carry your shield/badge. No gun (crazy if you don’t carry) carrying your ID card should suffice. Not going to post why on this forum, if you don’t know ask some one at work. I’m retired and carry dupe shield retired ID and LEOSA qual card, separate from my wallet. I always carry, if I fly, it’s in my luggage. Some habits never die...
      Hey Kidd, I've got more time On Meal than you have "On the Job"

      Comment


      • #5
        Carry a badge and ID. You talk about LEOSA coverage, so you want to carry off duty. If your department doesn't have a flat badge option, maybe carry the badge in a belt clip and put it in your pocket. A lot of issued federal credential cases are not very slim...go to https://store.strongbadgecase.com/ and buy a slimmer case.

        For reference, I carry a credential case only (slim) with the badge in a belt clip option in my pocket.

        Comment


        • #6
          Belt clip badge, creds in separate wallet. Out of state I carry a flat badge in the cred wallet.

          Badge, creds, gun... carry all 3 or carry none.
          "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

          "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

          Comment


          • #7
            By carrying a badge, you will quickly be able to identify yourself in the event that you need to. It could save your life.

            Your creds and badge should have matching numbers. Some creds look like they couldve been made on a computer at home. Carrying them together gives you credibility just in case you ever get checked by another LEO.

            Comment


            • 9L81
              9L81 commented
              Editing a comment
              My credentials number doesn't match at all with my badge number. Badges are both the same 4 digits and the creds are alpha numeric with some letters and 7 digits. But a badge doesn't mean much as far as identification goes. People lose them, anyone could possibly get their hands on one. The creds and my work ID both with my photo are what establish me as a federal agent with LE powers etc. The badge is just a way to assure most people quickly that I work in a LE capacity.

              Now you have me wondering why my agency doesn't use our badge number as a our credential number.

            • vdfnco
              vdfnco commented
              Editing a comment
              My agency doesn't put badge numbers on creds either.

          • #8
            Question from a civilian: At one point, twenty-some years ago, there were three men sitting in a vehicle in front of the small (4-plex) apartment building which I (at that time) owned and lived in. I didn't recognize them or their vehicle, so I approached to ask them their business. They first asked if I was the owner of the property, and when I told them that I was they identified themselves as detectives on a stakeout and showed an ID card with "Houston Police" on it. I told them they were welcome to wait in my parking area as long as they wished.

            All well and good. It didn't occur to me until some time later, though, that I had no real way of knowing (beforehand) what a genuine police ID credential looked like...if someone really was trying to scam me, I wouldn't know it! Is there some reasonable and low-pressure method which you would recommend, possibly at a police station or similar, to approach an officer and ask for a chance to inspect his credentials so that you can familiarize yourself with the genuine article?

            Comment


            • CoastalCop1811
              CoastalCop1811 commented
              Editing a comment
              No, don't do that...that's just weird. Might as well go to every Gov't agency and ask while you're at it. My fed creds are different looking than my state creds did and my state creds looked different than my local creds.

            • Arctic Road Toad
              Arctic Road Toad commented
              Editing a comment
              The best thing to do is if you have someone who you think may not be an officer is contact whatever department they claim to be from and ask about them.

          • #9
            I have always carried a pistol, even before I was a cop. Once I got hired, I was ordered to carry off-duty, to include my badge and credentials. Now that I'm retired, I'm still carrying, with my LEOSA credentials.

            A badge is not a 100% positive way to identify someone as a police officer, but the display of a badge (not just the mere possession of one) when your gun is out, may prevent an inadvertent blue-on-blue incident.

            I also agree that your badge should not be in your wallet- you never want your badge out for no reason, and you also don't want it out when you are not ready to instantly defend yourself.

            I carry a large pistol, and I carry it on my strong-side hip- if there is a robbery and victims are getting searched, they're gonna find it, so I have no choice- there's gonna be a gunfight.

            So I made it a habit to carry my badge on my belt, in front of my holster- if I sweep my shirt or jacket to draw my pistol, I'll be exposing my badge in the process, hopefully identifying me as a good guy to any other good guys present. This also keeps my badge out of my wallet.
            Last edited by Aidokea; 12-03-2020, 08:38 AM.

            Comment


            • #10
              Originally posted by ehbowen View Post
              Question from a civilian: At one point, twenty-some years ago, there were three men sitting in a vehicle in front of the small (4-plex) apartment building which I (at that time) owned and lived in. I didn't recognize them or their vehicle, so I approached to ask them their business. They first asked if I was the owner of the property, and when I told them that I was they identified themselves as detectives on a stakeout and showed an ID card with "Houston Police" on it. I told them they were welcome to wait in my parking area as long as they wished.

              All well and good. It didn't occur to me until some time later, though, that I had no real way of knowing (beforehand) what a genuine police ID credential looked like...if someone really was trying to scam me, I wouldn't know it! Is there some reasonable and low-pressure method which you would recommend, possibly at a police station or similar, to approach an officer and ask for a chance to inspect his credentials so that you can familiarize yourself with the genuine article?
              Not really. Any cop would immediately suspect you had ulterior motives. Every agency is also different across the board. Your best bet if you ran into that same scenario would be to call 911 at that time and have them verify those were in fact police officers. Ive seen a lot of Fed, State, and Local IDs, and many are extremely cheap looking.

              Comment


              • #11
                Originally posted by wildstar82 View Post
                Ive seen a lot of Fed, State, and Local IDs, and many are extremely cheap looking.
                Truth.

                Many LEO credentials look like they were created by kindergarteners. Maybe it's time for some sort of standardized design and issuing authority...something akin to a US passport.

                Comment


                • #12
                  Years ago, some federal IG's tried to standardize their creds (the cards, not the badges). They didn't look bad, but the agents liked their agency specific ones better. I don't know if they are still doing that.

                  Fed creds are bulky as hell. As a retiree, I have a concealed carry permit. Many times, I leave the creds at home and just carry that.
                  I’ll die with blue in my veins.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Originally posted by wildstar82 View Post

                    Not really. Any cop would immediately suspect you had ulterior motives. Every agency is also different across the board. Your best bet if you ran into that same scenario would be to call 911 at that time and have them verify those were in fact police officers. Ive seen a lot of Fed, State, and Local IDs, and many are extremely cheap looking.
                    The fed ones I've carried were made by the Bureau of Printing and Engraving and had similar fonts to currency. I thought they looked sharp.
                    I’ll die with blue in my veins.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by ehbowen View Post
                      Question from a civilian: At one point, twenty-some years ago, there were three men sitting in a vehicle in front of the small (4-plex) apartment building which I (at that time) owned and lived in. I didn't recognize them or their vehicle, so I approached to ask them their business. They first asked if I was the owner of the property, and when I told them that I was they identified themselves as detectives on a stakeout and showed an ID card with "Houston Police" on it. I told them they were welcome to wait in my parking area as long as they wished.

                      All well and good. It didn't occur to me until some time later, though, that I had no real way of knowing (beforehand) what a genuine police ID credential looked like...if someone really was trying to scam me, I wouldn't know it! Is there some reasonable and low-pressure method which you would recommend, possibly at a police station or similar, to approach an officer and ask for a chance to inspect his credentials so that you can familiarize yourself with the genuine article?
                      Does Houston PD have an Officer McLovin?
                      This Space For Rent

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        My first ID was a small, unlaminated, paper ID that the sheriff used a typewriter to incorrectly spell my name and then used whiteout to fix. It had no photo and it looked fake.

                        "just show them your drivers license" he told us.

                        It caused a state trooper to call my dispatcher to verify me once when I got pulled over for having a license plate light out.
                        Last edited by Saluki89; 12-09-2020, 07:38 PM.

                        Comment


                        • Aidokea
                          Aidokea commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Wow.......

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