Arizona Cop Chided for Uniform at School Drop-Off Was in SWAT Regalia

Officer Scott Urkov in his SWAT uniform (courtesy myfoxphoenix.com)

You may recall that we reported on an Arizona cop who was asked to wear civvies when dropping off his daughter at school. Like other gun rights friendly media, TTAG chided the Mesa School District for their anti-gun stance. Yes, well, it turns out that Officer Alan “Scott” Urkov wasn’t wearing a “standard” police uniform. He was kitted out in SWAT regalia, including a thigh-holstered handgun. [Click here for the local Fox news report.] Funny how no one thought to mention this before. Whether or not that’s the outfit he was wearing at the time (badge? vest? AR? dark glasses?), whether or not it makes a difference to whether or not you think the principal should have kept his trap shut, is an open question.

comments

  1. avatar BDub says:

    Maybe they should request all parents drop off their kids while wearing fairy princess outfits to set everyone’s mind at ease?

    1. avatar Shire-man says:

      Somehow I dont think a big old hairy dude dressed like a fairy princess running around children would put parents minds at ease. Maybe if he was handing out candy?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Had a van with candy and puppies?

        1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

          Free candy spray painted on the side of a van always looks legit.

        2. avatar Avid Reader says:

          Plus the van should be painted with rainbows and unicorns.

      2. avatar tmm says:

        Hairy princess or Fairy princess? …see MrCN

      3. avatar Steve says:

        I lol’d 😀

  2. avatar Layne says:

    Doubt he was wearing a helmet or holding a riot shield, so still no cause for alarm. The one shown above does look a lot like a janitor’s uniform though. Never seen one like that.

    1. avatar Andrew says:

      Because he’s here to ..CLEAN UP THE MESS?

    2. avatar Hank says:

      That is such a poor uniform, I might have thought it a bad fake.

      1. avatar WRH says:

        I assumed it was either a Ghostbusters Halloween costume, or perhaps a police uniform from a former Soviet Union country.

  3. avatar Tyler says:

    Makes no difference to me.

  4. avatar Chris. says:

    Ok, if that’s his uniform that’s his uniform, regardless of whether or not it’s a “standard” police uniform.

    If a military member were picking up/dropping off a child at school you would expect them to be in their uniform of the day, which is probably not going to be a dress uniform but BDU’s. So, a Cop, who is on a swat team showed up in his.

    As far as the Thigh Holster.. OMG. the horror. A holstered gun. Thigh Holster, Shoulder Holster, ankle holster, hip holster.

    The key is “holster”. What part of the body it’s worn on comes to the preference of the wearer.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Thigh holster indicates wacker wannabeRambo. Shaved head also??? What is it with cops and the Kojak doo, black/mirror shades, vest, all in black? Too much estrogen to join the Infanry and now over compensating?

      And what is it with “SWAT” teams and BDUs/jammies? They take a “time out” to go change into the badass outfit/uniform. Thing the camo will make them invisible/bulletproof or is to “change gear”/mindset? If the later, the change in focus is from donut run to “we’re gonna kill someone” and that SHOULD disturb you.

      1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

        Ever had someone try to yank your scalp off by the hair in a fight?

        I don’t own a single piece of equipment or clothing in multicam, but if I had to sit in the bushes on perimeter outside an armed barricaded suspect’s house, I might want some. And if you’re in an urban environment, no camo pattern or solid color really helps you blend in, so why have something different for those occasions?

      2. avatar ThaKemizt says:

        The way I’ve understood it, the thigh holster can be preferred for those who wear plate carriers.

      3. avatar Bruce L. says:

        I would bet his uniform is dictated by the department. Usually the “troops” don’t have a choice.

      4. avatar Russ Bixby says:

        Thigh holster is good when a baddy makes a grab, for when one is in a crouch or when one is in a vehicle, and for when a shield is in play.

        Bald works when a perp tries to pull your hair and can’t. It’s also good for gas gear. Firefighters tend toward bald as well, now that it’s no longer considered a grooming don’t.

        Camo or otherwise atypical gear helps with identification, to non-responders, other LEOs and one another.

        Not everything LEO is Evil, like the froo-it of the Devil.

      5. avatar ChuckN says:

        A thigh holster doesn’t always instantly mean “wannabe”. For instance,
        my local Sheriff’s office recently got a good deal on some BlackHawk
        Serpas with quick disconnects. They quickly found out that the
        disconnects don’t work too well when crammed between all the other
        junk on a duty belt. So most deputies got leg platforms simply to cut
        down on the annoyance of removing their firearm. So here it wasn’t
        as much a reason to look more “tacti-cool” as it was a measure of
        laziness.

      6. avatar PavePusher says:

        Looks like a very practical uniform to me. What’s the problem here? What should he be wearing? Suit and tie?

  5. I don’t see how it matters. Maybe if he was in full riot gear with a ballistic shield and an M4, with a couple of pineapples dangling off the belt.

    1. avatar Roscoe says:

      Yep.
      Same thought; particularly the ‘maybe’ part.

  6. avatar Jeremy S says:

    I’d likely get a bit nervous if I saw a SWAT officer in full regalia at my kid’s school. BUT… not because of the officer! Because I’d be afraid they were there for a specific purpose — some sort of threat or ‘bad guy’ incident that may happen or did happen.

    Armed SWAT officer = good
    Reason for armed SWAT officer to be present somewhere often = bad

    1. avatar Chris. says:

      I can understand that, so you see the SWAT officer, you walk up to him and say
      “Hey, what’s going on?”

      and he smiles responds “oh, just picking up my kid”.

      and everybody goes on their merry way.

    2. avatar BDub says:

      nah! Look for the MRAP and dead dogs, that’s how you tell if its a real emergency.

    3. avatar BillF says:

      It’s not like he was wearing a riot helmet, bolting from cover to cover, waving a firearm around and shouting instructions.

      1. avatar Pulatso says:

        Hey, I’ve seen Blues Brothers, those SWAT guys don’t go anywhere without moving like that and “hut”ing as they go.

      2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Just had a mental video of Tackleberry.

  7. avatar BillF says:

    Swat uniform or not–the whole thing was insulting. Let’s stop the military from leaving base in uniform too, because Pussified America might think the War of the Worlds is here. Our children are being taught to fear everything and everyone. They’ll grow up to be helpless.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Not that long ago was against regulations for GIs to wear field or work uniform off post. Had to be Class A or B.

      1. avatar BillF says:

        In the early 70’s we couldn’t wear our utilities off base. I believe it was more about a clean appearance than about putting the fear of death into fragile children.

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        By law?

        I can understand wanting to present a crisp, professional appearance. And, in that sense, I can see why the police department would ask its officers to not walk around in utilities. But the principle should have kept his trap shut.

        1. avatar Matt says:

          Yes we mustn’t question the glorious peoples security forces.

        2. avatar WV Cycling says:

          My father always teased and said they were required to change before going off base just in case they were planning on doing something stupid or disrespectful off base. There were many a night in his younger days where they would go around, bar crawling back to the ship…

      3. avatar PavePusher says:

        And that got dropped because it is stupid and inefficient. Not to mention near-impossible for many skill fields.

      4. avatar Surly Old Dude says:

        It’s been long enough that I was able to retire — more than 10 years ago — after more than 20 years in the US Army, and never was subject to any such regulation.

        But it’s pretty clear reading your other bloviations that you’re just a loudmouth with little connection with reality.

  8. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    All police will have a badge or other police identifiable markings, even in swat gear.
    My answer is who F#$^%$^ing cares! SWAT gear, Military camo, beat cop gear, firefighter uniform, who cares. I am going to assume he is in good standing with his department. So he should be wearing a uniform to pickup his kid. Heck sling that AR across your back too, knowing an LEO is there in the area, makes me feel safer, since you know in CA you can’t get near a school with a gun…

  9. Since no one else has done it I’ll insert the dead dog joke here:

    Was he dragging a dead dog behind him? That might explain the alarm…

    1. avatar Avid Reader says:

      Glad we can check that one off the list.

      Who’s up for a doughnut joke?

      1. avatar Tony says:

        The PoPo shot my dog cuz my dog was threatening to eat his doughnut.

  10. avatar Scoolbubba says:

    We see here an armed American squaring off with his natural opponent, the emasculated government bureaucrat.

    Beware, someone might have to file a hurt feelings report.

  11. avatar amagi says:

    Most of those parents voted for the militarization of police they seem to be so afraid of.

    You get what you vote for.

    1. avatar Wiregrass says:

      Oh they want the police militarized, they just want them to stay in a box out of sight until they need them, and then be there immediately ready to save their ass.

      1. avatar Andrew says:

        Hmm. Could be a pretty good analogy to bullets in a magazine… *scribbles that away for future use*

      2. avatar PavePusher says:

        “Soldiers and dogs keep off the grass”? Yeah, all to common.

  12. avatar William Burke says:

    “At school”, not “from school”. Unless you mean the wife didn’t like him wearing the uni at home.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Text amended.

  13. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I don’t think it matters. I assume he wasn’t carrying a riot shield and wearing a helmet, so it was probably just the uniform he goes to work in every day. The school administration was still way out of line.

    1. avatar Blue says:

      I agree. The issue I have is when these teams are used to serve failure to appear parking warrants, warrantless no-knock raids at night and checking barber shop licensing. On a separate note, I like the drop on the holster. It isn’t too much. Marshall Matt Dillon would approve.

  14. avatar mymc says:

    FYI, the Principal is a female.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I believe you’re mistaken. The female quoted in the original article was the Mesa Unified School District spokesperson, Helen Hollands. According to this page, the school principal’s name is Gregory Reid, which is a funny name for a lady.

      1. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

        Maybe Miss Gregory married a guy named Sue.

    2. avatar BillF says:

      And she’s demanding action.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        No (s)he got some action, and now looks like a boob.

  15. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I don’t care what he was wearing, and these idiots need to get a life. They’re a bunch of scared little sheep waiting for the big bad wolf. They should be happy he’s wearing his gear because he would scare off any potential bad guy.

    1. avatar Matt says:

      Ah yes the terrorist hiding behind every bush and wall in America! Hating us for our ‘freedoms’! Let us all goosestep into the glorious future! HAIL HAIL HAIL!

  16. avatar John E> says:

    I think it’s the color, periwinkle blue is not a good fashion statement for swat.

  17. avatar FlintLock says:

    Frankly, I prefer my local LEOs in uniform than undercover in unmarked cars.

    A lot of departments succumb to tacticool fashion when it comes to specialized gear. But, hey, if they want to look funny while on the job, the more power to them.

    The principal missed a golden opportunity to invite the officer, perhaps the department in general, to host a show-and-tell assembly from the get go (though I’m glad to see they eventually did). Back in the day we regularly had cops come to school, in uniform and with squad cars, to talk about how kids should interact with cops. They’d let us sit in the cars and play with the lights and siren.

    I don’t recall wanting to avoid cops until I got my driver’s license.

    1. avatar PavePusher says:

      “Tacti-cool” is actually about practicality and efficiency, no matter how you may sneer at it. Doesn’t look “funny” at all.

  18. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    I thought that they didn’t mind cops being armed, uniformed, duded up and so on as befits their duties. Y’know — just like, well, cops?

    Well, at least Officer Mumblesmurf now knows how the rest of us feel.

  19. avatar Pulatso says:

    I love the “apology” in the article, including the “We’re sorry you took it this way”, which is actually not an apology, it’s a shift of blame. Maybe you should be sorry you asked him to not be in uniform. Maybe you should be sorry you paid any attention to the grown children upset because there was someone with a gun present. Instead you’re sorry someone called you on your crap publically.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Bet they won’t be so sorry that they won’t call Officer Friendly and his pals if they get into some trouble one day.

  20. avatar HisDudeness says:

    I told you this story wouldn’t go away. We don’t take our gun rights lightly and an investigation was imminent.

  21. avatar tdiinva says:

    And what difference does that make. What if dad (or Mom) was an Army MP or AF Security Police? When someone in a uniform frightens school children then we really have arrived at a Police State.

    1. avatar Matt says:

      They wouldn’t be rolling up to school with a fucking dropleg in uniform because they can’t take it off fucking base.

  22. avatar PeterC says:

    Just what we need…a school dress code for cops!

  23. avatar Pete says:

    I would SO rock a thigh holster err day if I could get away. Not sure why it’s associated with killing people, though. Would they prefer a shoulder rig? 🙂

  24. avatar ensitue says:

    It’s an Open Carry issue

  25. avatar Ralph says:

    Who gives a rat’s hat what he was wearing? If he’d wearing his SWAT uni with no gun, would the school have given him grief? If he wore his blues with a gun, would the school have said come on in and bring a friend?

    It was never about the uniform. It was only about the gun. The gun.

  26. avatar KCK says:

    If you are carrying 30Lbs of stuff in the desert it all can’t be on your waist line.
    You pull your pistol maybe not at all but you want your M4 mags where you can reach them. The waist line is precious realestate. Keep what you need most handy.The military kit is part of a machine and it has been tuned over time.
    Thigh rigs don’t get snagged as easily getting in and out of high riding Humvies.
    ,

  27. avatar happyelf says:

    Reminds me of a flight suit

  28. avatar MattM says:

    Looks similar to the flame retardant shirts designed to be worn under body armor. No chest pockets, lighter material on the torso. Also probably why the badge is on the belt. Throw the vest on and you’re 90% fully dressed.

  29. avatar Joseph B Campbell says:

    Doesn’t bother me here either! Keep up the good job officer!

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