5 Reasons Why Cops Should Carry Off-Duty

Cops and guns are a hot topic in our country right now. It seems like every time I turn on the TV or look at the news online, those two things are in the headlines.

Guns themselves have become an even more sensitive topic due to the recent school shootings, one of which was stopped because an armed law enforcement officer was on school property and confronted the gunman.

Maryland school resource officer

When a 17-year-old gunman walked into Maryland’s Great Mills High School, the rapid response of the school’s single resource officer, Blaine Gaskill, was instrumental in bringing the incident to a quick end. (St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office)

I know there are many spouses and family members who don’t believe in guns. This creates pressure for their LEO to abandon his or her weapon off-duty.

This is my reply: You are with a police officer. Do you not know or understand what he/she does for a living? Do you understand the amount of training police officers have undergone to be able to not only carry a weapon, but also how to handle different situations involving weapons?

I feel strongly that every officer should carry a weapon off-duty, now more than ever. I even think it’s a good idea for spouses to learn how to shoot and carry as well, because you never know who is watching and what their intentions are.

concealed carry

Officers should be encouraged to carry a firearm off-duty. (Photo courtesy VertX)

Here are the 5 reasons why cops need to carry off-duty:

1. What are you going to do as an off-duty police officer when s**t hits the fan? Will you stand around and act like a normal citizen? Of course not. You’ll get involved. For more than 40 hours per week, you run toward problems and solve them. You DON’T stand around and hope the problem resolves itself.

2. You are recognizable to people who hate cops. Even if you don’t stand out based upon your appearance, your mannerisms will give you away. Do not let yourself be a target for people who hate the police. Sometimes there is nothing you can do when you are around people in public who clearly watch every move you make in an attempt to catch you off guard. Yet you can make sure you are always on guard.

3. You aren’t going to bring a knife to a gunfight on duty, so why would you do this off-duty? Some officers I know will simply carry a knife. While I think that it is better than nothing, you will most likely be met with a firearm if someone wants to hurt you. So again, bring a gun to a gunfight.

4. Your family is a target. Yes, it sucks, but it’s the reality of being in this line of work. So as the protector you are, don’t you want to be properly prepared to protect them if necessary?

5. You are a cop. Let’s not forget this. And like every point I mentioned above, you will be noticed in public. So when things go bad, EVERYONE will be looking to you to take action. After all, you are a cop!

Finally, my state-trooper-fiancé and I were recently out to dinner with some friends. There had been about eight or nine armed robberies in the area over the previous week.

All of our friends were discussing the crimes, and basically told us they felt safe because they knew my fiancé was carrying (as he always does).

most people own guns

(Photo courtesy Jabbacake)

Moreover, they went on to explain how they don’t really believe everyone should have guns. Yet they believe police officers should carry off-duty in case a situation were to arise, since they are trained at handling in-progress crimes.

So, case in point, people look to police officers to be PREPARED and to PROTECT them on AND off-duty.

Autumn Clifford is a former police officer. She was in law enforcement for six years before she was injured on duty and left the job. She has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and is almost halfway through obtaining a masters in the field.  

Autumn was not only a patrol officer herself, but is marrying a state trooper in September of 2018. She has taken her passion for law enforcement and is now helping officers and spouses to understand both sides of the badge. She has also created an online business, which focuses on helping law enforcement.

You can reach her by following her on Instagram @theladysheepdog and by listening to her podcast Sheepdog Nation.