Detroit’s three police unions are the latest to blast the National Football League’s ban on concealed carry for off-duty police inside NFL stadiums.
In the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Detroit police union officials are expressing their opposition to an NFL policy that prohibits off-duty cops from bringing firearms into stadiums, saying the rule puts lives in danger.
“This policy is ill-advised and should be rescinded,” said a draft of a letter, penned by leaders of the city’s three police unions: The Detroit Police Officers Association, Lieutenants and Sergeants Association and the Command Officers Association.
“Law enforcement officers often carry a weapon while off duty not only for their own personal protection but to provide a critical response when circumstances call for immediate police action,” said the letter, which had not been sent to the league yet Friday evening as the unions finalize it.
“Current events, not least the unconscionable acts of terrorism we have recently experienced, only add to the desirability of having readily available armed law enforcement officers even if they are not officially ‘on duty.’ ”
The NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association was the first police union to blast the NFL’s dangerous policies following the coordinated Paris attacks, including one that occurred right outside a packed soccer stadium.
The NFL’s response suggests that they don’t think off-duty officers have the common sense to carry or use a firearm responsibly inside stadiums.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email Friday that security is stronger when stadium officials know which officers are working.
“Off-duty officers attend games as spectators and are unknown to working law enforcement officers and security personnel,” McCarthy said. “They may not have the same training and do not participate in the weekly preparation meetings. They are not included in the on-site chain of command.
“The well-intentioned display or use of gun(s) could have serious unintended and potentially tragic consequences,” he said.
The NFL is apparently under the assumption that off-duty cops are too irresponsible to carry firearms when not wearing a uniform, or unless they’ve gone to a meeting, in which they are presumably admonished to not fire randomly into the crowd.