What Can One Off Duty Cop With a Gun Do?

The NFL, many major universities and a growing number of private businesses have established policies prohibiting customers from carrying concealed firearms in their locations. This is their right as private business owners. Many have also decided to extend this prohibition to include off-duty police officers. This, in most cases, is also their right. But does this make it correct?

Off duty law enforcement officers carry concealed weapons for a variety of reasons. Some departments require it, considering their members to be on duty and available to assist with a witnessed situation 24/7. In other cases, it is similar to why anyone carries a firearm – for protection. Of course, when it comes to off-duty police officers that need it for protection, it is not always a “what if” but more like a “when” – since they make their living locking up some very bad people; people who eventually get out of jail. But, many of the companies who have banned concealed carry and included off duty police officers have done so because they do not see the need; they often state their own security of employees can handle any situation which arises.

off-dutyRecently, the citizens of St. Cloud Minnesota were provided with proof of what one off duty officer with a gun can do – save lives. At approximately 8pm on Saturday September 17th, a man dressed as private security and armed with a knife stabbed eight people at the Crossroads Center mall. According to the St. Cloud Police Chief, Blair Anderson, the unnamed man went on what can only be described as a stabbing spree – stabbing victims in multiple locations throughout the mall.  While there have been early reports claiming the attacker made statements leading witnesses to believe he may be Muslim, and an online claim of responsibility by ISIS, the motive is still under investigation.

What is known is that the attacker may have injured or killed even more if not for the actions on one off-duty police officer. That officer was off duty and visiting the mall when he came face to face with the attacker. Specifics regarding the actions of the officer have not been fully released, but St. Cloud Mayor David Kleis said the video shows the officer shooting once, the suspect falling to the ground and getting back up at least three times. Before finally being killed, the attacker even lunged at the officer. There appears to be little doubt that the off duty officer saved countless lives.

Local officials may have been mute concerning the motives of the attacker, but have been very straightforward concerning the actions of the officer. US Senator Amy Klobuchar said “one thing we know for certain this morning: Due to the courageous actions of an off-duty area police officer…lives were saved.” Gov. Mark Dayton said he is personally “deeply grateful to the heroic law enforcement officer, whose swift response prevented an even worse attack.” To the officer involved, I say “Bravo Zulu! Job well done.” To those who still ask what a lone officer with a gun can do, I say “what needs to be done.”

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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