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Thread: Starting the OCEP - Open Carry Education Project for Law Enforcement

  1. #1
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    (Disclosure: I am a 12+ year veteran peace officer and a 15+ year firearms instructor. I am a life member of the NRA and member of several groups, including local groups like the WAC, WSLEFIA and WCW)

    Over the last six months, I have been reseraching and building some ideas for a training project for officers and dispatchers across Washington state. After a conversation with Lonnie a couple of days ago, the idea is being cemented into a training project I am tenatively calling the Open Carry Education Project. Many of you know that Lonnie is THE go to guy for citizen information and a wealth of knowledge on the issue. Now I want to collaborate on that knowledge and get some education to the variety of agencies in the state.

    The OCEP is designed for two levels: 1) street & sworn officers; 2) support staff & dispatchers. The education package will consist of both hardcopy information and a simple but effective Powerpoint(r) presentation. Once completed and vetted (by the project coordinators, all of us familiar with OC and an attorney versed in firearms law (to ensure all legal aspects are covered and ensure no erroneous information is created), the package will be sent to every LE agency in the state, the CJTC, WASPC and anyone else interested in the information.

    One value of the OCEP is that it provides training time to officers in the state. What most folks don't know is that in Washington state, all sworn officers must complete a documented 20 hours of continuing education or training in order to maintain their peace officer certification. These hours can be internal (such as roll call training sessions) or external (such as courses hosted by agencies or the CJTC) but must be documented. The OCEP can be a 30 to 60 minute training program that not only gets solid training time to officers but also gets OC education to them. Also, smaller agencies with meager training budgets can use this project and training package to bolster their training and required training hours.

    Why not just address the agencies individually? As we know, you can solicit information from each agency and getwhatever response they will provide. However, documentated training means officers have received education on this constitutional issue and it will be consistent (as we produce it and vetted by the agency heads and the city/county attorneys). Documentated training also means that if OC folks are contacted and believe that they have been unlawfully detained or harassed by officers, they have a remedy to challenge the contact.

    My goal is to work with Lonnie and those here who are interested in creating a positive training package. The key here is education that stresses important constitutional concerns but also educates in a manner that is not confrontational and gets a positive image of OC into the minds and hearts of officers.

    Feel free to post your solid ideas here, input and concerns or suggestions. Your input is wanted! This is an open project at this time with the understanding that Lonnie and I will be coordinating this package. Understand that this project is NOT to bash officer, agencies or policies. It is about education in a positive manner to present OC as a friend to cops everywhere (Yes, I do understand that there are officers and staff within agencies that are anti-gun/anti-OC. However,a fresh and positive face to the idea goes a significant distance in the cop world).

    I look forward to working with you to create a positive and necessary education package for officers and staff in our state.

  2. #2
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    This seems to me to be a great (and ambitious!) plan.

    "My goal is to work with Lonnie and those here who are interested in creating a positive training package. The key here is education that stresses important constitutional concerns but also educates in a manner that is not confrontational and gets a positive image of OC into the minds and hearts of officers."

    This is a much better way to get the message across than lawsuits, in my opinion. Being proactive with a problem is always better than reactive. A good offense is the best of all defenses, etc.

    I'm not sure how to help at this point, but please let me know (PM or posted in this thread) if there's anything I can contribute.

    Regards,

  3. #3
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    What a great idea! Anything I can do to help, let me know.

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    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
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    There are approximately 100 Police/Sheriff's departments in Washington State. This doesn't include the various safety departments on the smaller college camuses nor does it include all of the prosecutors office around the state.

    This information would be of value to them, as well as all of the retail malls in the state. The list can easily grow as other organizations are added that would benefit from this type of training.


    I would be happy to help in any way I can.
    CZ 75B 9mm, Ruger P94 .40 S&W, Bersa Thunder .380, AR-15 Homebuild

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    That is an awsome idea!

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    American Rattlesnake wrote:
    This is a much better way to get the message across than lawsuits, in my opinion. Being proactive with a problem is always better than reactive. A good offense is the best of all defenses, etc.
    A selling point to all the various jurisdictions is that through uniform training in what the law actually is, rather than what all the individual officers think it is, is a good way to prevent lawsuits.

    For years I have felt that there is no "uniform" approach and/or training on the matter of legal open carry, it has often been a "make it up as you go" issue for patrol officers.

    This project deserves everyone's support.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    I see this as a great idea. As a newbie here and to OC I would appreciate seeing the training module so I have the tools I need. An on-line module for the general public or those of us new to OC would be great.

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    I thinkthis is a great idea! Kudos to you on the effort and let us all know of any specific help you need.

    I also think we can do it more comprehensively than just OC. If we were to add an additional (free) module about carry in general, CPL, etc. I think the package may have broader appeal. This would also increase the amount of time it takes, and thus would be yet another reason for departments to like it. (I would offer it as OC/Concealed carry together and Open Carry only... at the department's choice...but no option for just concealed carry refresher...)

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    Morris, let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I do see one problem though, that being the case law regarding what type of behaviorexactly "warrants alarm" is not settled law. Perhaps with enough law enforcement input, someone might get around to asking for an AG opinion.

    Marty Hayes, Director

    The Firearms Academy of Seattle, Inc.

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    Thanks for the input all. More to follow soon.



    Marty: Excellent idea! When the package gets more gelled, I'll contact the AG's office to see what they can provide for assistance.

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    Is this just for WA, and if so, is there any interest in expanding it to a nation wide project? Maybe somthing like a OCEP kit others can modify to fit their state/town/whatever. Either way, kudos!

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    At the present, starting with Washington but I'm willing to public domain it for use by others for their respective states.

    This will be a self funded project for now. More to follow.

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    Morris, I'd also be delighted to help any way I can.

    Dave Workman
    Author "Washington State Gun Rights and Responsibilities"
    Certified firearms instructor

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    Thank you Dave! Your article reprinted in the WAC newsletter got this project started. Once over this pneunomia bug, I look forward to working on it and would enjoy your input.

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    What a noble ambition. This underscores the real reason we are here. If there is anything I can do please let me know.

  16. #16
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    I sent a request for information to my peers at the CJTC. I received a reply back from the Senior Criminal Law instructor/TAC officer:

    Code:
    I'm the lead Criminal Law instructor up here at BLEA.  We do teach this subject to new 
    recruits.  However, the majority of our training on the matter is done live in the 
    classroom.
    
    I am in the process of putting our BLEA training regarding brandishing into a written 
    document for distribution.  It may take a little while to get it "approved" for 
    distribution.  I'll send it on to you when it's done.
    
    -Seth
    
    

  17. #17
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    The live portion is likely role playing and integration into mock scenes. But I am confirming that as well.

    One challenge we have is that any training not specificially endorsed by the CJTC is often viewed in a different light. Having folks like Dave Workman, Marty Hayes, Lonnie, myself and other folks like that do boost it's acceptance. Dave is an accomplished author and article writer for some gun magazines, Marty is a retired (?) peace officer, author/article writer and owner of FAS, Lonnie is the guy to go to for direct information and case law, me because I'm still a street cop and CJTC certified firearms instructor, etc.

    Here's some basic details:

    • Package will be both hardcopy in a binder and a CD ROM with a powerpoint presentation
    • I hope to have a package for both sworn officers and support staff and a package for dispatchers
    • I am paying for this out of pocket. No worries, I have a great accountant and its tax deductable.
    • I will be establishing the documents/forms into a Google Doc account for review and input
    • My goal is to send this to every sworn agency in the state, every tribal agency, WASPC and the CJTC.
    • I am doing this off duty and am not formally approved by my agency to do so. As such, I will not be invoking any part of my agency's name.
    • Package will be reviewed by an attorney familiar with gun laws in Washington state. I also plan on working with the AG's office as much as I can.
    • My goal is to have the package completed and ready for distribution by March of 2008 at the latest.
    • If the package can be tailored for private business use (such as a mall or the like), I'm all for getting it to them as well. I plan on it being public domain in that the information is available to all who want to get the training message out there.
    Thing here to remember is that no matter how well or how solid the package is and no matter if the officers/admin types receive the training, there will be a group of officers/admin types who do not like citizens with guns and will let their biases color their responses. That is no different from any other group in society.

    So, game is on and as time and family life permits, I'll be getting the base started and seeking input for all of you as to format, layout, information that needs to be added and so on.

    Thank you for your support!


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    Anything the NorthWest Citizens Defense League can do to help, don't hesitate to ask!

    http://nwcdl.org

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    Will do, thanks!

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    Heck, I'm just a regular guy, but if there's anything I can do to help, let me know. If you guys decide to do some video clips of mock situations, I'm up for being a videotaper or actor or whatever.

    Would love to rub shoulders with you guys. I've met Dave a couple times at the WAC shows, and look forward to meet the rest of you some time in the future.

    Jeff

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    From the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania come two documents that might be tailored to your needs.

    The first is a Training Memo intended for County Sheriffs and Police Departments:

    http://paopencarry.org/PATrainingMemo.doc

    http://paopencarry.org/PATrainingMemo.pdf

    The second is a pocket-sized flyer, suitable for reprinting and making available to the general public and all handgun owners:

    http://www.paopencarry.org/PennsylvaniaGunRights.pdf






  22. #22
    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
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    It looks like Pennsylvania has it all together. Very nice, and thank you!

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    Not sure whether we've got it together or not, but we're trying. Sometimes it seems like an uphill battle, but that's not stopping us.

    One thing we can do is file a Private Criminal Complaint against the errant officer for Official Oppression, and the Private Criminal Complaint Form is available on-line. Of course, whether the District Magistrate or County District Attorney does anything with it is another story, but we do have that tool to use. Getting in good with a local news reporter is another good tool.

    We'll do what we can in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you do likewise in the State of Washington.

    Hope what I sent helps.

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    All:

    My apologies for this notification. I have to suspend any work on this for the time being. I have been at Children's in Seattle for the last two days with three more to come. My 2 year old was taken to ER with complications that we later learned to be from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. She's sick and my wife and I are are busy getting to understand this disease and the complications it means for her.

    So, I will have to suspend my work until after the holidays and when things calm down. I appreciate everyone's understanding on this.

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    Morris, you and your family have my sympathies and my prayers. Take care the health and safety of you and your's during this Holy-Day season. We'llstill be here whenyou get back.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
    KF7GEA

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