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10 Tips for Off Duty Incidents

Dr. Richard Weinblatt

After off-duty incidents hit the news, I often find myself discussing the specifics with academy students. Often in a room with 40 or so newly minted “blue shirts," questions about what exactly should be done off-duty when incidents arise is a hot topic.

We talk about about off-duty involvements and some of the considerations they should ponder when they get settled in an agency. Shootings of plain clothed off-duty officers are all too familiar to those of us in the business, and so it’s important to always be on alert.

This column will provide some new food for thought for new law enforcers and a reminder for the vets out there.

#1: Know your department policies >>>

  • The_wall_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This is not only good for off duty, it should carry over into retirement. I say this because you offically hung it up, you never really hang it up, you still think like a cop. I still have that sheep dog mentality, watching over the flock. Another thing I always do, since I love redundancy, carry an old cell phone fully charged, you can still call 911 on it, it may save your butt.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    I think that tip about having a Code word for your family is a really great one. Charging my cell phone is another,as a not-so-great phone person my cell tends to stay in the car where I am more inclined to use it, but then I forget to charge it. Guess I better get in the habit of taking the cell inside & charging the bugger up. Having moved before marriage from Rural to the City, and then once married, from the City to Suburbs I've always been a bit more "alert" than my hubby, but have tried to bring up our daughter with more "street sense" or awareness that you talk about in your article. Just by really taking in your surroundings can alert you to any possible situations that might happen, or at least cause you to be a bit more wary of the people/area you're in. Common Sense goes a long way in keeping you safe/safer.

  • 580270_10150746332203468_504183467_9096624_481960616_n_max50


    over 4 years ago


    very true

  • M_a6d52838fcaf76871a3f162b66e0b424_max600_max50


    over 4 years ago


    this was a great article. I will be talking to my family about this. A code word is a wonderful idea. Thank you.

  • Lapd_detective_badge_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    Good info

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago


    know your department policies

  • M11_max50


    almost 5 years ago

    88 Comments make alot of comments...but where is your experience?..are you even a cop?..I checked your profile..not much to look at...

  • Nym50_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    Good stuff. This is something I wil discuss with my young officers in depth.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago


    The extra mag should be carried not just for extra ammo, but if there's a malfunction when it hits the fan. If possible, cuffs should be handy-what do you do if you're on a BG and have to wait for back-up? And as it may be legal to carry under the LEOSA act despite your agency's policies, but you will have to deal with your agency if there is an incident afterward. You may save your life or those of your family or the public, but you may lose your job. Be careful when away from your jurisdiction!
    Finally I would also tell family and friends not to give you up(Dad, you're a cop-do something!), let you make the decision on intervention or calling it in.

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    almost 5 years ago


    I know a Cop who would be in a bar and would get into a conflict and when he was about to have his arse handed to him he would whip out his badge. A Cop can't be a Cop if he's drunk in a bar or a strip joint I would think.

  • Img_4167_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    Not bad advice for rookies and veterans. Remember HR 218 (active and retired) covers you BEYOND your agency policy in reference to "off-duty carry"

    ALL meeting HR188 CAN carry REGARDLESS of your agency policy...I only say this so we ALL can protect our lives legally,

  • Dps_shoulder_patch_max50


    about 5 years ago


    A family plan - interesting. I guess I never really thought of that one.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 5 years ago



    I would also like to add my two cents. When you have your new drivers license, ID card, credit card etc made with your photo on it. DO NOT GET THE PHOTO MADE WITH YOU IN UNIFORM ! Why? What if you are in a fast food restaurant and some crooks come to hijack the place and they take control of the interior with the customers and YOU inside. They then go around and collect wallets, purses, etc and go through them. There you are in living color and in uniform. Now they have a COP as hostage.

    Also, keep all you cop id separate from you wallet. That way if the above situation does happen hopefully you can ditch the id.

  • Img00033-20091202-1845_1__max50


    about 5 years ago


    Very excellent article!!!! Something every LEO should read and abide by. I encourage every officer in my department to carry a firearm, hancuffs, extra ammunition, and a flashlight while off duty. While sometimes tedious and time consuming these are the very items that may save your life or someone else's life when it really counts. While on duty LEOs have all of these tools at their disposal, why not have them while off duty? Nice catch on TIp #3, a finger on the trigger is always a big No No!!! As someone who carries a 1911 both on duty and off, I have noticed that there a two negatives in this picture. 1. Being the drawing of a weapon with the finger on the trigger. 2. Any single action semi automatic weapon being carried should be carried with a round in the chamber and the weapon cocked (with the hammer back.) As one of our department's firearms instructors I do mandate bi-annual qualifications with both on duty and off duty weapons and their appropriate holster including shoulder, hip, SOB, and ankle holsters. These practices protect the individual officer and the department.

  • 1asteriskshield_ezr_max50


    about 5 years ago


    Excellent article. My wife and I are discussing several things from it as I type. Thanks!

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