View Poll Results: AFTER reading The Question and amplifying descriptions in the OP, please vote!

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  • Their training was good, but focused primarily on the unlawful carry of firearms.

    22 36.07%
  • Their training was good, but was overridden by departmental memo or other directive.

    15 24.59%
  • Their training was good, but they forgot their training.

    2 3.28%
  • Their training was good, but they're ignoring their training.

    14 22.95%
  • Their training was not good; they were incorrectly trained.

    20 32.79%
  • They were never given any training on the lawful carry of firearms by citizens.

    17 27.87%
  • Other (please explain in your answer)

    9 14.75%
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Thread: What's Wrong With LEO Training for the Lawful Carry of Firearms?

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    What's Wrong With LEO Training for the Lawful Carry of Firearms?

    Please read The Question (at bottom) and the amplified descriptions below before taking the poll. Thanks!

    This is not bashing, so please do not stoop to it, here. Most LEOs know the laws as they apply to a citizen's lawful carry of firearms. This poll is an honest attempt to determine why some LEOs, and sometimes entire departments, seem to be unaware of this area of the law, or at the very least, unable to apply it appropriately in the situation where honest, law-abiding citizens are lawfully carrying a firearm.

    It's my hope that the results might be taken used to take corrective action within various police departments. At the very least, the options should be a good checklist against which to compare the readiness of a police department or other law enforcement agency with respect to appropriate interaction with law abiding citizens who openly carry a firearm.

    Last year I compiled a Colorado "cheat sheet" as to when, where, how, and why I can OC and CC throughout my state. It took me a day to compile, and it fits neatly on just two pages, the front and back of a single sheet of paper. Meanwhile, the Colorado drivers handbook is 41 pages, at least 30 of which are things people really need to know.

    If LEOs can be experts on 30 pages of traffic regulations, why are some of them apparently unable to learn another 2 pages of information pertinent to the lawful carry of firearms?

    I have several theories, one or more of which may be true:

    1. Their training was good, but focused primarily on the unlawful carry of firearms. In other words, they were properly trained, but their training was overshadowed by other training. When an LEO focuses primarily on the unlawful carry of firearms, they're more apt to intercept the lawful carrier, attempting to determine "what's wrong with this picture?" before realizing nothing's wrong. This results in unnecessary detainment of lawful carriers and a serious increase in the statistical likelihood of miscommunication or altercation.

    2. Their training was good, but was overridden by departmental memo or other directive from a superior officer. In this case we have an officer who knows the law, but instead chooses to follow departmental procedure. It's a situation of misplaced loyalty, yes, but one where the officer usually has no choice but to follow procedure if he wants to keep his job. Officers in this situation often do not have any recourse to elevate errant or unlawful procedures for review. Sometimes, however, the officer does have such an avenue for redress, but for whatever reason, decides not to "buck the system."

    3. Their training was good, but they forgot their training. This is simply an LEO being inadequate or negligent.

    4. Their training was good, but they're ignoring their training. This is far more serious, where the LEO is wilfully ignoring their training. They know what's right, they know they're doing wrong, but they choose to do so anyway.

    5. Their training was not good; they were incorrectly trained. A good LEO would know the local and state laws and would comply with them anyway, in essence, completing their own training. Someone who is less knowledgeable would follow the incorrect training.

    6. They were never given any training on the lawful carry of firearms by citizens. Personally, I can't see how this might happen, but not being privvy to a police academy syllabus... While I would think all states have minimum training standards, I also think in some regions all training may be up to the local sheriff, in which case the training may be somewhat lacking.

    7. Other (please explain in your answer)

    THE QUESTION: Which of these seven reasons do you believe is the primary cause or causes behind inappropriate LEO contact and interaction with a lawfully-carrying OCer?

    It's a multiple choice poll, so feel free to vote for more than one. Voting for all of them, however, defeats the purpose. The operative word is "primary." Pick 1 to 4 options you feel best describes the situation.
    Last edited by since9; 08-30-2011 at 02:34 PM.
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  2. #2
    Regular Member FireStar M40's Avatar
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    #7.. Other

    Then there's the other situation you have to look at, ie:

    "Cops don't like the idea of the public legally carrying firearms!"

    FireStar M40
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  3. #3
    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireStar M40 View Post
    Then there's the other situation you have to look at, ie:

    "Cops don't like the idea of the public legally carrying firearms!"

    FireStar M40
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  4. #4
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    It use to be that all LEOs where gun guys. Then that stated to change in the middle 70's with affrimitive action. The depts where forced into hireing from the general population instead of the most qualified. I belive up until about the early 80's it was 80 to 20 percent pro gun. Now more like 75 to 25 percent anti gun. Rural areas have a lot higher percentage pro gun cops then urban areas.

    About the same time you had a huge media push on how horrible and bad guns are. So they ended up hireing a huge selection of officers who never handled a firearm before their academy time. Who has been preached at from the time they could watch TV. How bad guns are and how only the goverment should be able to have them. At the same time you had the most vocal states passing horrible guns laws and getting huge amounts of press surporting them.

    You had a lot of the biggest cities and a lot of nasty anti's gunners and the press allways pushing that guns are bad only the goverment should have them ect ect.

    Where as before this time guns where seen in a good or neurtral light lots of officer hunted came from the country ect or ex milltary.

    You have some departments that actively push the anti gun agenda that tell their officers there are no good guns. at the same time you have the media that hardley ever has a progun story in or on it.

    The passing of consitutional carry and shall issue permits don't sit well with some for their whole life and carreer they have been told guns bad me good.

    They have to be educated by relearning what they have been told their whole life and career. Some well learn fast others will lose their jobs and be sued when they fail to do so.

    Some places well have to pass law targeting bad behavior making officer accountable for their bad actions.

    For the most part we well have to change the media and the anti gun tone we hear everyday. Just think if every day we heard 4 or 5 favorable pro gun stories instead of neg. ones from the MSM. In 10 years we would have officer joining thinking guns are good.

  5. #5
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    We can start off by not calling them "anti gun" they are more anti Liberty. Thats really what they are. Thats what I will call them for now on.

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    I picked option #1 because that's what cop training is all about - what's illegal.

    But there is a good deal more than training about "people who have guns" involved in any interaction between a LEO and a LAC. There is much to be said in favor of the notion that because LEOs spend so much time dealing with the bottom tier of society they tend to see all but a limited number of folks as fitting into that tier. Just as there is much to be said in favor of the notion that LACs tend to see all but a limited number of people who posses firearms as "good guys". Then there are many other factors and notions that can be brought to the equation, or mixed-and-matched pretty much at will, all without changing the truthfullness or correctness of the final answer.

    In other words, there is no single "thing" that can be pointed to and "fixed" so that forever afterwards LEOs and LACs will live in bliss and harmony.

    It is more important that we keep in mind that there are essentially two ways of overcoming the problem of LEOs who, for whatever reason, do not follow the laws and respect the rights of those they are hired to serve: 1) education by word and deed; and 2) education by force of law. The first one involves forcing (yes, I did say "forcing") them to see LACs as being different than criminals because we do not behave like criminals. Seeing LACs going about their lives being LACs ought to set up a cognative dissonance regarding the notion that all people with guns are BGs and therefore should not be treated as BGs. The second one involves holding their feet to the fire through lawsuits. Make it expensive enough and someone will eventually say that LEOs should stop doing whatever is costing their masters money that could have been spent instead on some pet project. (I'm still debating with myself over the question of suing over every petty infraction or only over the most egregious, but am more than willing to say I am leaning towards the former rather than the latter. It's like training a puppy - you cannot confuse it by sometimes allowing something and other times forbidding it.) I still favor the first method over the second, but if education by example is not going to produce results then we do need a fall-back plan.

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  7. #7
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    "We must take the guns from the people to make the streets safe for the SS."
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  8. #8
    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    I chose the last three for the following reasons:

    5. Their training, at least in the area of citizens' rights, is woefully inadequate. I've got good friends who are in law enforcement and, in talking with them about RKBA and some other issues, it has come out that I, and I am far, far from being either a genius or a lawyer, am far more knowledgeable about this area than most of them are. Bear in mind that I am talking about my particular state only.

    6. Again, from conversations with friends in law enforcement, the lawful carry, open or concealed, by citizens was one of those things hurriedly passed over in their training. It is my understanding that the subject is required, but is not looked at except very briefly. The lawful open carry by citizens is, again from what I understand, not even covered at all. I do think that is beginning to change, but we still have some, especially sheriffs, who have the attitude of, "I am the law!"

    7. We still have too many LEOs, and this is, I believe, nationwide, who regard the ability to openly carry a sidearm as solely a prerogative of the "Chosen Few" and are highly offended at the sight of a citizen exercising that prerogative. Once they decide they are offended, then those few do their very best to find something with which to charge the upstart citizen. It seems that the most common charge here is "Disturbing the Peace", which, in Alabama, requires some clearly defined circumstances which open carry, by itself, does not meet.

    To reiterate: This is my analysis of my state only. Thankfully, the LEOs who fit the last category are in the minority and we are slowly but surely either changing their minds or, in the case of some of the sheriffs, causing them to change jobs.

  9. #9
    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    I chose 6 and 1, with IMO #1 coming in a very closed 2nd to #6. If I had to guess I'd say that police training is a lot like the law. There's lots of talk about what citizen's can't do, but very little talk about what citizens can do. So with all the emphasis what they should be citing or arresting citizens for, I can definitely see how activities that are legal (which, realistically, are too many to enumerate) would be left out of training.
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  10. #10
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    No easy answer

    I have to admit to having no clue what the likely reasons some LEO's act the way they do. I do tend to lean towards #1 and #2 and i will tell you why i think this. I am fortunate to have a very good friend/neighbor that is in LE, but you know i have never put the question to him,but maybe i should. I did ask him about open carry when i decided to start, and he was very candid and honest with me on the subject. He said to me and i quote: We (meaning LEO) do know it is not illegal to do so but you can expect to be harrassed and or charged with DOC. That is about all we talked on the subject, I took the coversation to mean He had no problem with it, and i know he doesn't because i oc everyday and i am always armed when He and I talk or have a beer on the porch or what ever. but to me He was letting me know other LEO's out there will disreguard there training/knowledge and give you grief anyways. I have been very fortunate so far, I have not had a bad encounter. but yet have been at my local speedway as i am everyday the the middle of several LEO's in the middle of doing there jobs. Now they may not have noticed i was armed or they may not have cared but it wasn't to hard to see, an XD45 is not the smallest weapon to have hanging on your side. Either way i got not even a second glance. But i know bad encounters happen everyday to LAC's and it is just plain wrong.
    Last edited by KRM59; 09-09-2011 at 09:14 PM.
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  11. #11
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    I had an interesting conversation this afternoon with a member of local law enforcement. No, it wasn't an encounter -- I'd called him to ask him a question involving trespassing.

    Towards the end of our conversation, he mentioned the tired old line about "disorderly conduct." I asked him how lawful behavior could be misconstrued as DC, to which he replied "it depends on the totality of the circumstances." Barring criminal activity, such as inciting a riot, brandishing, verbally or physically abusing other, I still don't see how any "totality of the circumstances" would or could translate into "disorderly conduct."

    What he said sounds very typical, and I'd chalk it up to departmental memo, bad training, or not having received any training on the lawful carry of firearms by a private citizen.

    I did some research, following his advice to look up DC, and came up with some things which I'm discussing further in the Disorderly Conduct? Menacing??? thread.
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  12. #12
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    I had to choose other based upon my personal experiences in my area. In some cases their training was bad. In many cases their training simply does not continue beyond the academy, nor does it include law updates. One academy in my area is teaching out of 2009 Missouri blue books. That means the 2010 Castle Doctrine changes aren't there and that if they don't get them updated the new CCW and NFA-related changes won't be there either.

    Why some flat out ignore the law is amazing, why the get away with it is even more amazing. The know all too well that if they arrest you for lawful carry and seize your firearm that they still win by forcing you to spend your hard-earned money to get the false arrest removed and get your firearm(s) back. To some, the slap on the wrist they'll receive is worth it.

    What gets me is why an academy would refuse FREE time from someone who teaches firearms and firearms law multiple times per week. I know someone who offered to teach the firearms Statutes of the class for free and they flat out refused citing that the local PD was teaching that part. Well if local PD is committing the same fouls on handling LAC carry then we have yet another problem.
    Last edited by REALteach4u; 09-11-2011 at 12:27 AM.

  13. #13
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by REALteach4u View Post
    I had to choose other based upon my personal experiences in my area. In some cases their training was bad. In many cases their training simply does not continue beyond the academy, nor does it include law updates. One academy in my area is teaching out of 2009 Missouri blue books. That means the 2010 Castle Doctrine changes aren't there and that if they don't get them updated the new CCW and NFA-related changes won't be there either.
    One would hope LE training post-academy consists of something more substantial than "Welcome to the department. Do what I do." Formalized initial and recurrent training has been recognized for decades as an efficient and effective means of ensuring trainees are operating on facts rather than errant opinion.

    Why some flat out ignore the law is amazing, why the get away with it is even more amazing. The know all too well that if they arrest you for lawful carry and seize your firearm that they still win by forcing you to spend your hard-earned money to get the false arrest removed and get your firearm(s) back. To some, the slap on the wrist they'll receive is worth it.
    A couple of decades ago, Spokane, WA had a law on the books (it may have been a state law) which required the government to pay all legal fees to a CWP holder tried for illegal use of a firearm if he was found not guilty. That's a fairly hefty incentive for the prosecution to make dang sure they only try someone who is truly guilty. I'm intrigued by the possibility of something similar to create a serious financial incentive against intentionally untowards behavior.

    What gets me is why an academy would refuse FREE time from someone who teaches firearms and firearms law multiple times per week. I know someone who offered to teach the firearms Statutes of the class for free and they flat out refused citing that the local PD was teaching that part. Well if local PD is committing the same fouls on handling LAC carry then we have yet another problem.
    Blind leading the blind? "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

    I will say it's my experience that many of them believe that when it comes to the law, they know better than lawyers, much less citizens, and that most of them believe lawyers know the law better than citizens. While that's certainly true in a general sense, it may not be true in all circumstances. We have folks here who know more about the laws regarding law-abiding carry of firearms than many LEs.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    SNIP Towards the end of our conversation, he mentioned the tired old line about "disorderly conduct." I asked him how lawful behavior could be misconstrued as DC, to which he replied "it depends on the totality of the circumstances." Barring criminal activity, such as inciting a riot, brandishing, verbally or physically abusing other, I still don't see how any "totality of the circumstances" would or could translate into "disorderly conduct."

    What he said sounds very typical, and I'd chalk it up to departmental memo, bad training, or not having received any training on the lawful carry of firearms by a private citizen.
    Unless I got a really good explanation to the contrary, I would chalk it up to cops twisting the law to accomplish their personal preference. "We don't like OC, so lets see if we can shoe-horn this into one of our catch-all categories like obstruction or disorderly conduct."

    It is far too easy to just leave alone someone who isn't violating a direct prohibition, particularly while he is doing something that has express constitutional protections. If some cop is trying to apply disorderly conduct statutes to mere OC where otherwise not prohibited, that cop has personal animus against OC, or is following orders of someone who does.

  15. #15
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    On a brighter note, I OC'd in close proximity to several local law enforcement and hundreds of citizens on Friday afternoon, without incident.

    Most law enforcement officers understand full well that a well-regulated militia (armed citizenry) increases the security of a free State.
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  16. #16
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Speaking of LEO training, it was recently announced that here in NC, they are suspending operation of the State LE Academy for State Troopers due to funding cuts.

    So it will be interesting to see how NC deals with this.

    I suppose one solution would be to just hire returning veterans, and tell them to treat citizens like they treat the folks in Fallujah and Afghanistan--no need for additional training in civilian LE techniques and procedures. That seems to be the general trend coming down from the Feds anyway...

    http://www.witn.com/crime/headlines/...130124358.html
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  17. #17
    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireStar M40 View Post
    Then there's the other situation you have to look at, ie:

    "Cops don't like the idea of the public legally carrying firearms!"

    FireStar M40
    The only things that go away when ignored are your teeth and your girlfriend. The above is the largest and most dangerous issue
    concerning open carry. People can be talked to or ignored. Police with a penchant for dominance are harder to ignore or walked away from. This is not a training issue, and not all things that stand in the way of lawful carry can be trained away. Policy changes and personnel changes are the first assurances of efforts to preserve our rights. Anything less is lip service.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    I suppose one solution would be to just hire returning veterans, and tell them to treat citizens like they treat the folks in Fallujah and Afghanistan--no need for additional training in civilian LE techniques and procedures.
    That's hard-core cynical, Dreamer. Even for you.
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  19. #19
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Firearms Iinstuctor;1603589]It use to be that all LEOs where gun guys. Then that stated to change in the middle 70's with affrimitive action. [QUOTE]

    I disagree that this was the cause. It appears to me that when the states started to REQUIRE all local PD and Sheriffs deputies go through the academy, that is when the problems started. They no longer are a cross section of the community, they are now the "professional Elite" that can travel from state to state and are area to area, and get hired strictly on the fact they have completed the "academy". That is how you had Seattle advertizing in New York City, WDC and Chicago for police recruits. Seattle was not looking at it's own residents because it did not want the cost of putting these new hires through the academy. The same goes for the Chief of Police...never from the City, and look at what happens becasuse of this.

    When I was young the police were recruited from the local population. There was no "academy" requirement, there was no "professional elitism", the local police were local people, end of discussion.

    Ask yourself: What does NYC, WDC and Chicago have in common with Seattle, as concerns OC or CC firearms???? NOT ONE THING!!!! WA is a traditional OC state, must issue for CPL, and has very few restriction (except fully automatic) The City Of Seattle has also learned that it can be very expensive to recruit from Califorinia, and the east coast...they keep getting sued, and keep loosing.....Spokane is getting ready to loose a lot of money too in the Otto Zehm case.
    Last edited by hermannr; 09-24-2011 at 11:24 PM.

  20. #20
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=hermannr;1616459][QUOTE=Firearms Iinstuctor;1603589]It use to be that all LEOs where gun guys. Then that stated to change in the middle 70's with affrimitive action.

    I disagree that this was the cause. It appears to me that when the states started to REQUIRE all local PD and Sheriffs deputies go through the academy, that is when the problems started. They no longer are a cross section of the community, they are now the "professional Elite" that can travel from state to state and are area to area, and get hired strictly on the fact they have completed the "academy".
    Oooh... Ahh.... Perhaps every one of us who might qualify should go through the academy just to earn our "wings!"

    Oooh... Ahh... Then we might start to ungrease this ill-considered hingepoint.
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  21. #21
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    If Seattle hires (they have) a officer out of say California, Chicago, WDC or NY, and those new hires do not go through the WA academy, they know less about WA Law then the local citizen that has lived in the area his whole life and has not gone through the academy.

    If going through academy is so important, why do those out of state, and out of touch officers, get a free pass from going to the academy? Every LE department in the state has their own training departments that can do everything the academy can, and just as well, (or just as poorly), at a lot lower cost.

    Just because you have a license to practice law in Oregon, does not mean you have a license to practice law in WA...You have to take the WA specific bar exam, and pass it, before you can practice law here. Why not the same for LE? IMHO: passing the state academy in NY or California should not automatically qualify you to be in LE in WA. The same as MP training in the Army does not make you eligable to to be in LE in WA.

  22. #22
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    I've surprised no one has chosen "Their training was good, but they forgot their training."

    Really? It's inconceivable that an LEO received good training but merely forgot some of that training?

    As an instructor, I've seen first-hand that well-motivated and highly intelligent people can be taught 100% of what they need to know but they still get less than 100% on the test, even though it's in their best interests to ace it.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    Just because you have a license to practice law in Oregon, does not mean you have a license to practice law in WA...You have to take the WA specific bar exam, and pass it, before you can practice law here. Why not the same for LE? IMHO: passing the state academy in NY or California should not automatically qualify you to be in LE in WA. The same as MP training in the Army does not make you eligable to to be in LE in WA.
    From what I understand, many departments already have cross-training programs designed to bring out-of-staters up to speed on local and state laws.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    I picked option #1 because that's what cop training is all about - what's illegal....
    I agree with skidmark, but I also picked #2, and to a much lesser extent #4.

    I think skidmark hits it well with his reasoning, but I also believe that their judgment and knowledge of this matter suffers from a level of insulation from the very laws and "normalcy" that they are hired to enforce. LEOs by and large do not have to follow the very firearms laws they are trained to enforce on others. Overall, its an effect of the "privileged few" system, but it also will effect LE culture over time and will be a self consuming cycle of non-relevance in the daily life and job of your typical LEO.

    If so few LACs in a given population actually carry (typically 5% or much much less), AND given the chances that they might encounter such LACs in a situation where the legality is at all in question, AND the chance that such a rare encounter would cause the LEO to question their own knowledge or belief about LAC carry, you can see the degrading chance of impact on any given LEO about the issue. In effect, if it doesn't effect them in any positive way, why pay it any attention?

    One correction to this issue to make our LEOs "immunity" only active when in uniform, and/or on the job. If we hold them accountable to the same laws as the LACs they serve when it comes to the carry and use of firearms, and even the use of their civil authority, I think we would see a much greater understanding for the daily "plight" of the LAC.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMCDH View Post
    One correction to this issue to make our LEOs "immunity" only active when in uniform, and/or on the job. If we hold them accountable to the same laws as the LACs they serve when it comes to the carry and use of firearms, and even the use of their civil authority, I think we would see a much greater understanding for the daily "plight" of the LAC.
    LEOs aren't immune on duty, either. Qualified immunity only protects them "insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known." - Source

    On or off duty, they're still accountable for breaking the law. Most departments enforce the law. Some feel like they're more of a law unto themselves.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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