Everybody knows that a law enforcement officer must carry a gun while he is on duty, but what about during his down hours? Considering the situations in which an off-duty officer can find himself, it is best to be prepared by being armed, if properly authorized. But how should the officer carry this firearm concealed in a way that makes it readily accessible yet still hidden from public view?
Once the proper attire is chosen, the first rule should be, if authorized, to always carry off-duty. The second rule is practice, practice, practice. Officers spend a large amount of time on the range practicing in duty attire. How much of that time is used to practice carrying in off-duty modes? For most agencies, it’s probably none. That leaves it up to each and every officer to practice and hone their skill regarding the concealed methods of carry. Your carry method and tactics must be sound so that your muscle memory will take over, as you won’t have time to think.
Additionally, it’s been long advised that in addition to a gun, an off-duty officer should carry extra ammunition, handcuffs, a knife and flashlight. If you are immersed in a fight, your muscle memory will kick in, and since officers are used to having their “tool belt” on, you will instinctively reach for the items that you are used to carrying. The last thing you want is to reach for something and find it’s not there.