05/02/2006

New York: Safety first for cops’ firearms

Copyright 2006 Newsday, Inc.

By ANTHONY DESTEFANO

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. — City police officers can have firearms while on or off duty but have to safeguard them at all times, according to police regulations.

Though there are no specific rules regarding the custody of an officer's firearms in the home, the general requirement to keep the weapons secure covers possession of an officer's both official and off-duty revolver, a police spokesman said.

After the 10-year-old son of Police Officer Joseph Dunne critically wounded himself with his father's gun Sunday night, the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau began an investigation into the incident, the spokesman said.

Dunne remained on regular duty status yesterday, officials said.

Officers can have both a 9mm service handgun provided by the NYPD and an off-duty weapon that can be of .38-caliber and is purchased separately. Both can be kept at home.

Other regulations prohibit officers from storing weapons in unattended vehicles and modifying them without permission. Off-duty officers are advised not to carry a weapon when the circumstances, such as participation in sporting events or attendance at a beach or pool, make it unadvisable.

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