NYPD changed dramatically with LEOSA

Ground Zero has jail-style lock boxes at the checkpoint for visiting officers to secure their handguns (but they didn't always)


To prove how some formerly unfriendly states have come around to embrace LEOSA, I offer my NYPD story. About 20 years ago, I was arranging to extradite a prisoner the NYPD had picked up on our warrant. 

The NYPD officer at their warrants unit told me specifically not to come to New York City with a pistol when picking up the prisoner. He said if we brought sidearms we would end up in jail ourselves. The extradition got settled by other means, so I never found out if the “no guns” rule for out-of-state cops was a bluff, but the guy sounded damned serious on the phone.

Fast forward to 2012. I was in New York City with my daughter — and my sidearm — for a few days and wanted to pay my respects at Ground Zero. When we got there it was obvious everyone would be passing through airport-style security screening. 

I approached an NYPD officer standing at post outside the venue and asked if there was a place at the security point to secure my retiree-carry pistol. He said he wasn’t sure, but I was welcome to secure the pistol in the lockbox of his scooter. I locked it up and picked it up on my way out. NYPD had gone from, “don’t bring a pistol” to “lock it up here, brother” in about 20 years. That is the way we should treat each other!

I’ve since been told Ground Zero has jail-style lock boxes at the checkpoint for visiting officers to secure their handguns. The US Park Service had the same thing available at their office when I visited the USS Constitution in Boston last year.

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