To me, the purpose is to let an approaching Police Officer, or other LEO, know that this person being approached may be a good guy (no one, and I mean no one here, would expect an LEO to let his/her guard down during such an approach, only to lighten-up a bit on the trigger), and upon placing the approached retiree in a position that provides safety to the LEO, to demand ID at this point.
We all understand that we are human (anyone disagree with this point?) and mistakes are made. We also understand that an Officer who overreacts can cause the death of another. When a firearm is seen, there is a possibility of being shot by accident and this is, invariably, more possible than not if the Officer is not trained as well as others. We can also admit that not all LEOs are trained equally, which is another topic and another problem.
For example, keep in mind that active LEOs with NYPD have been shot in the past and most were killed, by accident. These Officers are believed to be well trained.
With this last scenario in mind, what can we do to lessen the possibility of an armed retired LEO being shot prematurely by an active LEO?
I don't know about the reader, but being shot by accident gives me little solace. Think about it for a moment. You have been an LEO for 20 to 30 years, you retire, and while lawfully carrying a firearm with you in one of the many dangerous cities in the USA, an active LEO sees what appears to be a firearm. This active LEO approaches you with gun drawn and screams at you to stop, and while you ask, "excuse me?" (such a question does happen) the officer (who is already nervous), shoots you. O'Yeah, this is going to make me feel better knowing that this was an accident.
In the alternative, while facing the active LEO the presence of what appears to be a badge is showing, and he or she eases their trigger finger from the trigger. This finger is not removed from the trigger, it is merely eased away.
Which scenario would you like to be part of here? This is where a LEOSA badge may help. However, my desire is that there be one type of badge that can be identified throughout the U.S. and only obtained by retired LEOs.
This is no guarantee that this could not end-up in the hands of others. Keep in mind the person who was selling badges in Florida. One of these items was a centennial badge for the St. Louis Police Department, and the badge had not even been released when this crime was discovered.
This is a difficult issue, because you have people who believe that this is weird after a person retires. We all know how well a person is trained in our agency, but you may not be comforted if you knew about how other LEOs have been trained. They still have a difficult job, and I do not take this way from them, but the training may not be what some of us would think is adequate to prepare them for in more intense places or situations.
Now, could these scenarios be applied to the active LEO with the FBOP? Absolutely!
Having worked with a police department, I can say that it is important for anyone in this situation (1) not to make any sudden moves, (2) listen and fully comply with the commands of the Police Officer, (3) tell him/her that you are an LEO, (4) and be courteous toward the Police Officer. Keep in mind that his/her adrenalin is running fast and there is obvious and understandable fear involved here. They are just doing their job, so don't make it any more difficult than it already is.
Ninety-nine percent of the time we deal with inmates, and you know how it is when they make our job more difficult. Since we are also the good guys, we should act accordingly.
What happens if an Officer abuses you physically during your compliance? Go with the flow, keep your mouth shut, report the abuse to your Warden and go from there. There are good an bad in anyone's house, and we should never tolerate the bad, although there is a time and place for everything, and while being searched this is not the right time to protest.... This is an important rule.
Again, active LEOs with the BOP may be at a greater risk for a problem to occur, because the BOP does not want you to have anything, although I question whether a LEOSA badge, which indicates that it is a LEOSA badge would be a violation. This may need to be addressed between the Union and the Agency Executives and General Counsel for a more clear policy on this subject. In most departments, and states, there have been policies established that only address the application of LEOSA. In fact, if you checkout the Attorney General's Office of the State of Hawaii (bottom right hand corner), you will see that he is actually in the process of revising his opinion.
The FBOPs needs such an opinion, and the opinion must abide by law and not some personal feeling. No one cares about one's personal opinion, only the facts Madam.
Any other thoughts on this subject?
Wow. I fell asleep right about 90 minutes into this.