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Thread: OC in police station?

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    I searched for this type of topic, and I know that police stations are covered under preemption, but the other topic on this mentioned "public areas" of a police station. I'm going to be filing a complaint against the James City Country Police Department (unlawful detainment, search and seizure, etc). The last time I filed a complaint (Suffolk PD), the sergeant on duty escorted me to his cubicle in the back of the station to do the paperwork and take my statement. I wasn't carrying at the time, so I wasn't worried about it.

    My question is, if the same sort of thing happens and I get escorted to an administrative/office area of the police station while OC'ing, is that still covered under preemption? I'm not sure if that's exactly a "public area", so I just wanted to make sure I would be ok by OC'ing.

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    I think that unless it is located in the courthouse or attached to a jail, like the gloucester county sherriff office, you should be fine. They would have a sign indicating no weapons, if there is a law, I'm sure.

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    Pagan wrote:
    *I think that unless it is located in the courthouse or attached to a jail, like the gloucester county sherriff office, you should be fine. They would have a sign indicating no weapons, if there is a law, I'm sure.
    That sounds right to me.

    I've been down to the Sully station a few times this week, but I choose not to carry there.

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    I have OC'd at PWC police dept a couple of times.. not even a :what:from the police that were in the lobby..

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    15.2-915 covers police stations. Unless the police station (or sheriff's offices) is actually located IN the courthouse or jail (i.e., if there'spublic access to the one without having to go through the other), then it doesn't matter whether you've got a gun with you or not. If you have to go through the jail or courthouse to get to the police station, I'd say someone has to move the police station so that anyone can go in anytime they want, but that would take some politicking.
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    I know most stations have secured doors so they might just not allow you into those areas if you are OC'ing.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    NovaCop10 wrote:
    I know most stations have secured doors so they might just not allow you into those areas if you are OC'ing.
    That's pretty much correct but it really doesn't answer your question.

    Every PD is a little different but most have a holding area (lockup) to temporary hold prisoners. That area is often considered part of the Jail and staffed by the Sheriff's Department.
    In those sections you would not be allowed to carry.

    The real question would be the interview rooms. They are generally secured in one way or the other and most have desks/tables with cuff rings to secure prisoners. These rooms usually double as general purpose rooms for things like taking complaints and I've never seen one that's staffed by anyone other than the PD.

    These sections are a gray area. It could be argued that they are part of the jail.

    My suggestion if you really feel you have to carry while making the complaint, is to insist it be done in a purely administrative area where you can carry.

    One of our members had a similar problem in Henrico and filed a complaint because the Chief Booking Officer searched him. While his complaint was not acted on to the members satisfaction, I know the Booking Officer pretty well and he did get an Azz chewing over it.

    Got a little testy when I picked on him about it too.

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    peter nap wrote:
    NovaCop10 wrote:
    I know most stations have secured doors so they might just not allow you into those areas if you are OC'ing.
    That's pretty much correct but it really doesn't answer your question.

    Every PD is a little different but most have a holding area (lockup) to temporary hold prisoners. That area is often considered part of the Jail and staffed by the Sheriff's Department.
    In those sections you would not be allowed to carry.

    The real question would be the interview rooms. They are generally secured in one way or the other and most have desks/tables with cuff rings to secure prisoners. These rooms usually double as general purpose rooms for things like taking complaints and I've never seen one that's staffed by anyone other than the PD.

    These sections are a gray area. It could be argued that they are part of the jail.

    My suggestion if you really feel you have to carry while making the complaint, is to insist it be done in a purely administrative area where you can carry.

    One of our members had a similar problem in Henrico and filed a complaint because the Chief Booking Officer searched him. While his complaint was not acted on to the members satisfaction, I know the Booking Officer pretty well and he did get an Azz chewing over it.

    Got a little testy when I picked on him about it too.
    Honestly, I don't know about the legality/rules of carrying a gun into the police station. I don't see anything in the state code prohibiting it, and nothing in the local code either, however, I have seen signs on other department's stations. The department I work for has a main facility and substations/divisions (if that's what you want to call them). The substations are locked and not accessible to the public and the main station also houses the jail. There are metal detectors at the main facility prohibiting any sort of weapon carried inside by citizens. However, there are interview rooms at the substations (where there are no detectors) and there are signs posted on the outside of the interview doors stating "no firearms inside" (although most officers/detectives ignore that request). I have not read anything in my police procedures about this topic. I know after the Fairfax County shooting at their station in 2006, departments were pushing for stations to be gun free, but I never heard anything after. http://www.bloggernews.net/12382 . I'll try to do more digging.

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    NovaCop10 wrote:
    I know after the Fairfax County shooting at their station in 2006, departments were pushing for stations to be gun free, but I never heard anything after. http://www.bloggernews.net/12382 . I'll try to do more digging.
    Maybe they realized that banning guns wouldn't have stopped him, nor would it stop the same thing from happening in the future.

    It takes a real nutjob to shoot up a place full of people who can shoot back, I doubt he would have given a second thought to a gun ban.

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    peter nap wrote:
    NovaCop10 wrote:
    I know most stations have secured doors so they might just not allow you into those areas if you are OC'ing.
    That's pretty much correct but it really doesn't answer your question.

    Every PD is a little different but most have a holding area (lockup) to temporary hold prisoners. That area is often considered part of the Jail and staffed by the Sheriff's Department.
    In those sections you would not be allowed to carry.

    The real question would be the interview rooms. They are generally secured in one way or the other and most have desks/tables with cuff rings to secure prisoners. These rooms usually double as general purpose rooms for things like taking complaints and I've never seen one that's staffed by anyone other than the PD.

    These sections are a gray area. It could be argued that they are part of the jail.

    My suggestion if you really feel you have to carry while making the complaint, is to insist it be done in a purely administrative area where you can carry.

    One of our members had a similar problem in Henrico and filed a complaint because the Chief Booking Officer searched him. While his complaint was not acted on to the members satisfaction, I know the Booking Officer pretty well and he did get an Azz chewing over it.

    Got a little testy when I picked on him about it too.
    Searched me and took my little Friend. Its legal and its nothing they can do about It. Later on me and PVC went back to meet with the chief about what happened and not a word was said. Just make sure you are recording the encounter. BTW know the law.

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    NovaCop10
    Honestly, I don't know about the legality/rules of carrying a gun into the police station.

    Its legal

    I have seen signs on other department's stations.

    Are they aware that there signs are unenforceable ?

    What departments have those signs posted ?

    The substations are locked and not accessible to the public

    So because they are locked those buildings are no longer considered public ?

    the main station also houses the jail.

    So once inside the station your in the jail ?

    There are metal detectors at the main facility prohibiting any sort of weapon carried inside by citizens.

    Has this ever been challenged ?

    However, there are interview rooms at the substations (where there are no detectors) and there are signs posted on the outside of the interview doors stating "no firearms inside"

    How can they enforce those posted signs and still be within the law?

    I have not read anything in my police procedures about this topic. I know after the Fairfax County shooting at their station in 2006, departments were pushing for stations to be gun free, but I never heard anything after. http://www.bloggernews.net/12382 . I'll try to do more digging.

    Not trying to start a argument. Just some of the info posted doesn't sound right to me.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    NovaCop10 wrote:
    I know most stations have secured doors so they might just not allow you into those areas if you are OC'ing.
    I was escorted past the card key doors into the admin/conf area.
    Carry On.

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    I know in the Accomack County Sheriff's office the administrative area and entrance to the jail is behind a locked door. The jail is separated from the admin area by a set of bars like a cell door once inside them there is a steel door that can't be opened until the first door is closed.

    The code says jails are off limitsnot police stations or Sheriff offices.
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    ed wrote:
    NovaCop10 wrote:
    I know most stations have secured doors so they might just not allow you into those areas if you are OC'ing.
    I was escorted past the card key doors into the admin/conf area.
    Thats because youre badass and everyone knows not to give you grief otherwise.

    Or the postcard will chafe their behind harder than their chief.
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    xdm guy wrote:
    NovaCop10
    Honestly, I don't know about the legality/rules of carrying a gun into the police station.

    Its legal

    I have seen signs on other department's stations.

    Are they aware that there signs are unenforceable ?

    What departments have those signs posted ?

    The substations are locked and not accessible to the public

    So because they are locked those buildings are no longer considered public ?

    the main station also houses the jail.

    So once inside the station your in the jail ?

    There are metal detectors at the main facility prohibiting any sort of weapon carried inside by citizens.

    Has this ever been challenged ?

    However, there are interview rooms at the substations (where there are no detectors) and there are signs posted on the outside of the interview doors stating "no firearms inside"

    How can they enforce those posted signs and still be within the law?

    I have not read anything in my police procedures about this topic. I know after the Fairfax County shooting at their station in 2006, departments were pushing for stations to be gun free, but I never heard anything after. http://www.bloggernews.net/12382 . I'll try to do more digging.

    Not trying to start a argument. Just some of the info posted doesn't sound right to me.
    I don't recall anyone challenging the policy but then again I don't work security at the doors. Everything I posted is accurate of how it is at those buildings. The main station is more like a compound, with administrative offices and a jail inside of the barbed wire. The detectors are at the entrance of the fence and everyone is required to pass through. If a citizen wants to come in to report something in person, they must go to the main station and thus pass through the detectors (although we are willing to meet a citizen anywhere in our jurisdiction of course). Many times citizens will come in to turn in guns or ammo that they no longer want, and are requested to stay in the lobby area before the detectors. You would be surprised what nice firearms and amount of ammo people give up which ends up being destroyed. Since the inside of the substations are secured areas, I doubt anyone carrying would be allowed inside, although not against the law.

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    NovaCop10 wrote:
    I doubt anyone carrying would be allowed inside, although not against the law.
    It would be against the law to deny them entry.

    I have been to Princess Anne (1st Precinct VB) a couple of times and had no issues carrying anywhere, even the Public Safety office.

    When I was arrested for DUI some years ago (dismissed, BTW) and was being escorted out of the holding area I saw a sign behind me as I left that said no weapons were permitted beyond "this" point, that point being the detention (jail) area.

    It would be unlawful for them to prohibit carry by a citizen just walking in the front door or even one coming to the magistrate to post bail/bond by my read.
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    wylde007 wrote:
    I saw a sign behind me as I left that said no weapons were permitted beyond "this" point, that point being the detention (jail) area.
    This sign is for the cops dropping off and picking up prisoners. This is the one that I have observed religiously in my day. In jails and prisons the number one technique for resolvingconflicts is containment, and God help youif you end up on the wrong side of the wall, especially with a gun. Going into the cell blockof the county jail in Detroit is scarier than anything I have seen on the street.

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    gis wrote:
    Going into the cell blockof the county jail in Detroit is scarier than anything I have seen on the street.
    This would just be the precinct holding cell in Virginia Beach. The drunk tank. You're comparing apples to oranges, my friend.

    The city jail is controlled by the Sheriff's office. precinct holding cells are at the police stations and under the control of the city of Virginia Beach police.

    To be sure, everyone who had on a blue shirt and a badge also had a gun.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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    I reckon you get used to it. Though I still hate the smell of disinfectant. I've spent a lot of time in such places (interviewing prisoners prior to bond reduction hearings).
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    wylde007 wrote:
    gis wrote:
    Going into the cell blockof the county jail in Detroit is scarier than anything I have seen on the street.
    This would just be the precinct holding cell in Virginia Beach. The drunk tank. You're comparing apples to oranges, my friend.

    The city jail is controlled by the Sheriff's office. precinct holding cells are at the police stations and under the control of the city of Virginia Beach police.

    To be sure, everyone who had on a blue shirt and a badge also had a gun.
    Depends on the department, I guess. I've been to places that made me disarm before entering the holding area and places that didn't.

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    user wrote:
    I reckon you get used to it. Though I still hate the smell of disinfectant. I've spent a lot of time in such places (interviewing prisoners prior to bond reduction hearings).
    Haha, that disinfectant smell. I worked short time at a maximum security prison before getting my job as a police officer, and I will never forget that smell.

    Back to the topic on hand, since there is need for a secure police department (weapons inside, confidential information, my paycheck, etc), I don't see how it would be unlawful to restrict anyone from coming inside. Citizens (armed or unarmed) aren't allowed to just walk into the building at any given time, is that unlawful? It would be absurd to think that you could just walk into a police station and go walking around the administrative building unsupervised. I believe we lease our substations from private companies, so therefore, I believe it is private property on top of it (although I don't think it would matter).

    The no guns sign on the doors is for the interview rooms which are not located at the jail facility.

  23. #23
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    NovaCop10 wrote:
    user wrote:
    I reckon you get used to it. Though I still hate the smell of disinfectant. I've spent a lot of time in such places (interviewing prisoners prior to bond reduction hearings).
    Haha, that disinfectant smell. I worked short time at a maximum security prison before getting my job as a police officer, and I will never forget that smell.

    Back to the topic on hand, since there is need for a secure police department (weapons inside, confidential information, my paycheck, etc), I don't see how it would be unlawful to restrict anyone from coming inside. Citizens (armed or unarmed) aren't allowed to just walk into the building at any given time, is that unlawful? It would be absurd to think that you could just walk into a police station and go walking around the administrative building unsupervised. I believe we lease our substations from private companies, so therefore, I believe it is private property on top of it (although I don't think it would matter).

    The no guns sign on the doors is for the interview rooms which are not located at the jail facility.
    I would think that nobody here would disagree that restricting acces to many parts of a police station is necessary. However, if an officer chooses to admit a non-employee to such a restricted area who is there voluntarily, I would contend that whether the visitor is legally armed or not should not matter. While not a legal scholar, I feel that this would be consistent with Virginia law. The only exception I can see is when a suspect voluntarily comes in for an interview. I used to ask them (suspects, not witnesses) whether I could pat them down for my safety and never had a refusal. I did catch an outsider in a restricted area once who wondered in through the the open fire bay in search of a bathroom.

    No guns signs on the doors of interview rooms make no sense to me. This is clearly not for officer protection in this day and age of overengineered retention holsters. I suspect that some overpaid city/county counsel came up with it as a liability reduction and political correctness measure. Heck, every 6 month or so we would all pick a day and bring in the guns we wanted to sell or trade and set them up in an interview room. Over the course of the day, cops, dispatchers, fire fighters, and other employees would come over and browse.



  24. #24
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    gis wrote:
    NovaCop10 wrote:
    user wrote:
    I reckon you get used to it. Though I still hate the smell of disinfectant. I've spent a lot of time in such places (interviewing prisoners prior to bond reduction hearings).
    Haha, that disinfectant smell. I worked short time at a maximum security prison before getting my job as a police officer, and I will never forget that smell.

    Back to the topic on hand, since there is need for a secure police department (weapons inside, confidential information, my paycheck, etc), I don't see how it would be unlawful to restrict anyone from coming inside. Citizens (armed or unarmed) aren't allowed to just walk into the building at any given time, is that unlawful? It would be absurd to think that you could just walk into a police station and go walking around the administrative building unsupervised. I believe we lease our substations from private companies, so therefore, I believe it is private property on top of it (although I don't think it would matter).

    The no guns sign on the doors is for the interview rooms which are not located at the jail facility.
    I would think that nobody here would disagree that restricting acces to many parts of a police station is necessary. However, if an officer chooses to admit a non-employee to such a restricted area who is there voluntarily, I would contend that whether the visitor is legally armed or not should not matter. While not a legal scholar, I feel that this would be consistent with Virginia law. The only exception I can see is when a suspect voluntarily comes in for an interview. I used to ask them (suspects, not witnesses) whether I could pat them down for my safety and never had a refusal. I did catch an outsider in a restricted area once who wondered in through the the open fire bay in search of a bathroom.

    No guns signs on the doors of interview rooms make no sense to me. This is clearly not for officer protection in this day and age of overengineered retention holsters. I suspect that some overpaid city/county counsel came up with it as a liability reduction and political correctness measure. Heck, every 6 month or so we would all pick a day and bring in the guns we wanted to sell or trade and set them up in an interview room. Over the course of the day, cops, dispatchers, fire fighters, and other employees would come over and browse.

    Yeah I have brought people in many times to be questioned, whether they be witnesses or suspects. I usually ask for a quick consent pat down prior to letting them into my car and have yet to be turned down. I could see why you wouldn't want to allow a legally carried gun into an interview room if you have a suspect inside though. Interesting situation... you want a consensual encounter however they refuse to disarm when they come to meet for an interview. Obviously if they are a solid suspect and you force them into the room you can take their weapons (Terry).

  25. #25
    Regular Member gis's Avatar
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    NovaCop10 wrote:
    I could see why you wouldn't want to allow a legally carried gun into an interview room if you have a suspect inside though. Interesting situation... you want a consensual encounter however they refuse to disarm when they come to meet for an interview. Obviously if they are a solid suspect and you force them into the room you can take their weapons (Terry).
    Are your no guns signs intended for cops or visitors? Anyone under arrest or a suspect would be disarmed. As far as witnesses go, at my shopit was don't ask don't tell, but I sure would want to have my weapon if there is a chance they have theirs. We did not give rides, except to "customers" under arrest.

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