Trending Topics

NYPD changed dramatically with LEOSA

Ground Zero has jail-style lock boxes at the checkpoint for visiting officers to secure their handguns (but they didn’t always)

To prove how some formerly unfriendly states have come around to embrace LEOSA, I offer my NYPD story. About 20 years ago, I was arranging to extradite a prisoner the NYPD had picked up on our warrant.

The NYPD officer at their warrants unit told me specifically not to come to New York City with a pistol when picking up the prisoner. He said if we brought sidearms we would end up in jail ourselves. The extradition got settled by other means, so I never found out if the “no guns” rule for out-of-state cops was a bluff, but the guy sounded damned serious on the phone.

Fast forward to 2012. I was in New York City with my daughter — and my sidearm — for a few days and wanted to pay my respects at Ground Zero. When we got there it was obvious everyone would be passing through airport-style security screening.

I approached an NYPD officer standing at post outside the venue and asked if there was a place at the security point to secure my retiree-carry pistol. He said he wasn’t sure, but I was welcome to secure the pistol in the lockbox of his scooter. I locked it up and picked it up on my way out. NYPD had gone from, “don’t bring a pistol” to “lock it up here, brother” in about 20 years. That is the way we should treat each other!

I’ve since been told Ground Zero has jail-style lock boxes at the checkpoint for visiting officers to secure their handguns. The US Park Service had the same thing available at their office when I visited the USS Constitution in Boston last year.

Dick Fairburn has had more than 26 years of law enforcement experience in both Illinois and Wyoming. He has worked patrol, investigations and administration assignments. Dick has also served as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst, and as the Section Chief of a major academy’s Firearms Training Unit and Critical Incident Training program.