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11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 9/2/2004 2:40:41 PM EST
Detroit Changes Police Gun Policy

............
BEN SCHMITT
The Detroit Free Press via The Associated Press

The Detroit Police Department has ended its decades-old policy that required officers to carry their department-issued weapons at all times.

Off-duty officers now have the option of leaving their guns at home when they're off duty. Previously, cops were exempt from the policy only when they were in church, on vacation or attending a sporting event.

The change is being driven by reforms arising from Detroit's federally mandated consent decree and from national trends, said Detroit Police Inspector Jamie Fields, of the department's planning and accreditation section. Fields said concerns over cops and off-duty alcohol drinking also played a role in making the requirement an option.

In 2003, the department was placed under federal oversight for five years and ordered to reform its use of force and prisoner care policies. As part of the order, the department is required to revise its policies so cops are prohibited from carrying weapons "in situations where an officer's performance may be impaired."

Fields said: "If you're off-duty and you're carrying a weapon and you make an arrest, you may be subject to a field sobriety test. And remember that outside of the city of Detroit, officers only have the rights of normal citizens."

About 33 percent of Detroit police officers live in the suburbs.

Police union officials said Wednesday that the policy was relaxed to shift liability away from the city and place it on individual officers who get into trouble.

"We've asked for a meeting to find out where the department is coming from," said Sgt. James Gawlowski, president of the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association. "Our position is that officers are on duty 24 hours a day, and seven days a week."

The issue of cops carrying guns at all times made headlines two years ago when Detroit Police Sgt. Kevin Kemp shot and killed a man while trying to break up a fight at a west-side Detroit bar.

While Kemp was cleared of criminal charges, some questioned why he was not given a blood-alcohol test. Police also reported that the victim was armed, though a weapon was never found. The victim's family is suing the city and Kemp.

Fields said officers making an arrest while off duty would be required to submit to a Breathalyzer if they are suspected of drinking.

Farmington Hills Police Chief Bill Dwyer said his 120 sworn officers are not required to have weapons off duty, but most carry them.

"I think that requirement was established when you had residency in Detroit," said Dwyer, a 23-year Detroit police veteran. "I'm still a strong supporter of officers carrying their weapons off duty. It's pretty well embedded in police officers that they want to be prepared to take action."

Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said he never understood the Detroit police gun requirement.

"You can't do that unless you're going to pay them," Hackel said. "We've never required our officers to carry their guns while off duty. They do have the option."

Ron Scott, spokesman for the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, said he's pleased with the policy change.

"I think it reduces the potential for violence," he said. "I think off-duty officers should not even have the option of carrying a gun."

Detroit Police Commissioner Megan Norris said officers' use of guns plays a major role in the consent decree's section on the use of force.

"Certainly the department is evaluating the effect that someone having a firearm with them at all times has, especially when we're not in a position to monitor their conduct at all times," she said. "What the old policy did was blur the line between off-duty and on-duty conduct."




Link Posted: 9/2/2004 2:42:50 PM EST
Holy Shit!!! WTF are they thinking???? Other than their own liability of course. This has got to be one of the stupidest moves they could make.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 2:45:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 2:45:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
i would not enter detroit unarmed...preferrably with a crew served weapon.



word
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 2:51:19 PM EST
Why go to Detroit in the first place?

- BG
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 3:01:34 PM EST
If they are concidered on duty 24-7, they amn well better be getting paid well.

having the option to carry off duty is ok. but requiring it is rediculous.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 3:06:01 PM EST
Detroit's admin is very corrupt. The Kwame Kilpatrick (mayor) administration has been in the limelight for quite a while. More than a couple times, cops have been ordered to stop following leads that looked like they implicated someone close to the Kilpatrick administration. That place is fucked.

Police officers not being req'd to carry is fine with me...
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 3:14:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By BUCC_Guy:
Why go to Detroit in the first place?

- BG



affordable housing, easy chicks and you'll rarely have a boring night
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 3:21:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
i would not enter detroit unarmed...preferrably with a crew served weapon.



My fiance's family is frome up there, I hate traveling to Detriot. I always carry up there. It is a real cesspool, my fiances mother calls it DeTOILET. All the thugs and Arabs, I hate it

Any lawman or citizen for that matter should never voulntairly be further than arms reach from a loaded firearm.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 3:28:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By NAM:
If they are concidered on duty 24-7, they amn well better be getting paid well.

having the option to carry off duty is ok. but requiring it is rediculous.



Agreed.

Requiring it is a bit over the top, imo. Should be the officer's choice when he isn't on the clock.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 3:30:25 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 3:35:04 PM EST
Man, PD's in the east are all f-ed up.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 4:30:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
i would not enter detroit unarmed...preferrably with a crew served weapon.



And I doubt any detroit cops will either.

If they were carrying before they are still going ot carry.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 5:13:33 PM EST
A few years ago all detroit police and fire had to live in the city in order to work in the city of detroit. They changed that a couple years ago, and now the police and fire guys can live anywhere they want. So I believe this is a continuance of that change. It is good for the cops and fire department guys, but bad for the city. The few areas where the cops and fire guys lived were actually pretty nice parts of the city. Now they have gone downhill just like the rest of detroit.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 5:25:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By lokt:
Detroit's admin is very corrupt. The Kwame Kilpatrick (mayor) administration has been in the limelight for quite a while. More than a couple times, cops have been ordered to stop following leads that looked like they implicated someone close to the Kilpatrick administration. That place is fucked.

Police officers not being req'd to carry is fine with me...



There have also been quite a few incidences with NDs in the Detroit PD. At first they tried to blame the Glocks (big surprise). One of the idiots had to have their leg amputated below the knee because they shoved their piece under the seat of their car while going through the tunnel to Canada. Predictably, it fired.

It wouldn't bother me if they took guns away from them entirely.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 6:16:33 PM EST

"I think it reduces the potential for violence," he said. "I think off-duty officers should not even have the option of carrying a gun."


What kind of left-wing, kooky thinking is this? Maybe Canada can adopt Deeeeetroit?!?

Please don't bring that kind of thinking down here to Texas.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 6:21:34 PM EST
unfortunately, detroit, A2, and the Flint/Sagnasty area just about ru(i)n the state. That and our Canadian Hollywood lib female governor with gigantic earholes. (someone post a profile pic of Granhole?) That type of thinking is not terribly prevalent anywhere else in this fine state and I'm proud to say I have no part of it.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 7:43:37 PM EST
Actually, IIRC NYPD did away with required off-duty carry probably 20 years ago.

They’re were quite a few bar holdups back then, and they had found that an intoxicated cop who got into a gunfight with a bad guy often lost.
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