Waterfront Policing

How many officers see those of us working on the…

How many officers see those of us working on the waterfront think, “I would love that job…” Well, you’re right, you would like it. I’ve done it for closing in on 18 years now, and there is never a day I don’t thank God for the place I get to work.

While the environment is pleasant much of the time, and the scenery is great, it has some drawbacks. Storms can be highly dangerous, and with the new homeland security element, it has made it even more hazardous. One other adversary is out there; the water environment, especially the saltwater environment, and is murder on your equipment. When it comes to your firearm, maintenance and care are especially critical. When you depend on something to save your life in a deadly-force encounter, you need to be able to depend on it 100% of the time.

Over the last decade I have worked the range as a department Range Instructor, and I and have seen countless guns in poor to unworkable conditions due to corrosion. Extractors that are rusted in place, amounts of who-knows-what growing amongst metal parts, bullets that are a science experiment, and pitting from rust left alone have all shown up regularly. In all cases, the dedicated armorers of my department have been able to bring the gun up to spec after investing some time in it.

So is this just the “business as usual” for marine officers, just the “cost of doing business,” as it were. I would say no. This is a sign of neglect by those who carelessly assume the gun will work without any effort put forth to care for it. Our Glock .40 duty weapons are submerged by diveteam members on a fairly regular basis. Do these guns then get sent off to the scrap yard. No, because they are properly cared for, and because we picked the best weapon/coating for the job. So, how do we take care of our firearms on the waterfront?

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