Reader poll: Are cops protecting themselves off duty?

Recently, we asked our readers a series of questions related to their OPSEC habits while off the clock


This information comes from recent Police1 polls. Polls are regularly updated on the P1 homepage and open to all P1 readers. Make your voice heard HERE in our latest poll.

All cops know the saying “there’s no such thing as routine” – a reminder of the life-or-death importance of maintaining vigilance while on the job. But what are cops doing to protect themselves off duty?

Recently, we asked our readers a series of questions related to their OPSEC habits while off the clock. Do officers have good operational security habits? Here are the results.  

 

As you can see, the majority of our readers do not display law enforcement-related decals on their vehicle or at their home.

 

The question of whether or not our readers commute to and from work in uniform was more split. Some of those who do commute in uniform commented on our Facebook post that they take other measures to attempt to limit their exposure.

“Sadly yes; my vehicle is blacked out and I never stop for anything. Not enough lockers for everyone in our substation,” Jim Christopher wrote.

Others said they wear a cover-up over their uniform.

“It was forbidden by dept. policy. A cover-up had to be worn if you did so unless you had a take-home vehicle,” Paul Sullivan said.

“I always wear a large shirt or windbreaker over it so it's never visible and I make no stops, it's always directly to/from work and home,” Tom Miller wrote.

 

Readers were also somewhat split on the question of whether they carry one wallet for their police credentials and another for everything else, with 56% saying no. Here’s why Police1 columnist Marty Katz thinks you should.

 

For our final question, the vast majority (80%) of our readers said their family knows not to reveal they’re an officer while off duty and in public. A further 9% said they planned to discuss the issue with their family.

Are you doing the most you can to keep yourself and your family safe? Check out the following articles for off-duty safety tips and strategies:

4 off-duty OPSEC tips for police officers

5 off-duty safety rules every cop should follow

Why two is better than one

16 tips for keeping a low off-duty profile

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