After the Dallas police massacre, the Oklahoma City police union asked that officers be allowed to carry their personal rifles with them at work. From newsok.com:
Citing the deaths of five officers in Dallas last week, the Fraternal Order of Police has asked that Oklahoma City officers be allowed to carry their personal rifles and ammunition and be issued additional body armor.
A century ago, it was common for law officers to provide their own firearms. In many small departments, personal firearms are still the norm. But the trend toward uniformity and liability lawsuits have pushed most departments to standardize on firearms, if for no other reason than standardized training. At first, Police Chief Bill Citty refused the union request. He said that there were enough rifles to go around. After the shootings in Baton Rouge, he changed his mind. From news9.com:
Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty now says officers will be able to carry their own rifles until the department can purchase additional weapons.
Chief Citty said in press conference Monday that he had changed his mind on the issue following Sunday’s attack in Baton Rouge, La. that left three law enforcement officers dead and three injured.”The threats are real,” said Citty.
Officers will have to qualify with their own rifles, and use department issued ammunition. The department currently has about 285 rifles for 520 officers. The department is going to buy more rifles. The police chief says the policy will be a temporary one. From kfor.com:
Citty says he wants to have control over those high-powered weapons, so the city will be purchasing rifles for the remaining officers in the field.
Until those guns arrive, officers will be able to carry their personal rifles, if the weapon is approved and they qualify.
The idea of officers having their own rifles has merit. Personally owned arms have the advantage of supporting the idea of officers as citizens, instead of merely enforcers of the commands of those above them. And people tend to take care of their own equipment better than something that belongs to a impersonal organization. Inspections and qualifications can apply to personally owned arms as well as department owned arms.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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