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Old 11-29-2012, 12:14 AM   #1
WeaselFire
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Police department policies on carrying back-up guns?

In my WIP I have a protagonist who is a former LEO who now carries concealed (Likely a Ruger LCP or Baby Glock, maybe S&W Bodyguard) and I'm working on the history of when he was in the department. Our department has a vague policy on carrying backup weapons (concealed carry only for undercover so no concealed backups) and no formal policy on off-duty carry. Other departments I know of have anywhere from no policy, to a strict no carry policy or approved lists of backup weapons.

On duty the protagonist carried a Glock 22 (.40 S&W) and I'm thinking now he might carry a Glock 27 due to compatibility with his old duty weapon, which he still owns, or a Ruger LCP for pocket carry. I'm looking at having this have been his BUG or off-duty carry so he's intimately familiar with it (enough to survive a gunfight), whatever weapon I end up using (I'm thinking a Ruger in .380 so it's not a one-shot stop).

Given normal departmental policies, is this history plausible and believable? Florida, but outside the Miami/Orlando/Tampa/Jacksonville size of community. I know officers who have these weapons, just wondering if it would ring true in most areas of the US.

Thanks,

Jeff
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:47 AM   #2
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I say yes. As an ex-cop, I can attest that all the other police officers I have worked with strongly advocated owning/carrying a backup. Just as plausible is your using the G27 which use the same magazines as the G22. In Kansas, LEOs are granted the right to carry concealed by virtue of being an LEO. Individual departments may have their own policies regarding off-duty carry, but a back-up gun is usually bought out-of-pocket and in many LEO minds not subject to department policy. Just my personal experience.
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Last edited by Langadune; 11-29-2012 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:37 AM   #3
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I'm amazed your dept doesn't allow concealed back up guns. That's just stunning as I thought most dept's realized that back ups have saved lives.

I think your experience shows there's enough differences among various depts that you can write in whatever back up/off duty policy that works best for the story and have it be believable.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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In short: yes. It varies by locality (department) but as with feds, you have to carry an approved weapon and qualify with it just as you do your primary (issued) firearm. You can carry this weapon off duty (concealed). I don't know many LEOs who step out unarmed. It's like a permanent accessory!

Upon retirement, sworn police officers automatically qualify for a CCW* unless of course they were fired, etc. It's pretty much SOP. (*Granted, I can't speak for the entire country but only to localities I'm familiar with. )

I hope that helps!

(My sources are actual police officers.)

ETA: you could probably ask a local PD rep if the Ruger is on their approved carry list if you're going for authenticity.
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Last edited by Rowan; 11-29-2012 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:44 PM   #5
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In the Tampa Bay area some departments are forbidden to carry bugs, whereas neighboring departments can, if they qualify on them.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Collins View Post
In the Tampa Bay area some departments are forbidden to carry bugs, whereas neighboring departments can, if they qualify on them.
I'm in SW Florida, same here. The idea often is that the impression of heavily armed Gestapo agents is prevalent in some areas, so the department tries to play that down. Our department doesn't have bull bars/push bars on cruisers because of the aggressive appearance.

In our jurisdiction, many officers carry off-duty, and the Ruger LCP has been popular. I went to the range today to test a Ruger LCP (they didn't have one but I shot a Kel-Tec .380, same design, really cheap and crappy construction) and also a SIG 238 (similar size, also .380). Also tried some Glock 9mm guns to see how they would feel.

I'm comfortable that any of these would be suitable and manageable for the story. I don't want the reader to see him as a gun-nut or fearless ex-cop, just as a general citizen with a heightened knowledge of weapons and their use. These seem to fit the bill.

Thanks for all the help.

Jeff
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