Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default 5 tips for family preparedness in an off-duty encounter

    Goods tips for cops and privare citizens as well.

    You may be ready to engage in an off-duty confrontation, but is your family? That’s a question you’ll want to be sure to ask yourself far before you actually have to make the decision whether to get involved (which, in itself, has a lot of factors to consider – a discussion for another time). Although it’s not known whether the off-duty officer involved in the recent shooting at a Philadelphia movie theatre was with family, he could have been, and his experience serves as a catalyst for discussing family preparedness.

    Here are five tips for making sure your family is ready to do what’s necessary should you find yourself in an off-duty encounter:

    1. Have a code word, phrase or other signal that translates to: “It’s time for you to get out of here…now!”

    Crime strikes fast and if you decide it’s prudent to engage, seconds count. There is typically no time for discussion and explanation. In an off duty encounter, one of your main concerns, obviously, will be making sure that your family is out of harms way. Pre-planning can help with that.

    Talk to your family and come up with a word, phrase or other signal that is only used in times of emergency. It can be virtually anything, but make sure it’s obtuse enough to get the point across to your family quickly but not obvious enough that you’ll wind up IDing yourself as a police officer sooner than you want to. The key element of this part of the plan is immediate action on the part of your family when the word, action or signal is given. No discussion. No questioning. Just an immediate departure from the area.

    2. Make sure your family knows where to go.

    If you’re involved in an off duty confrontation, you don’t want your family anywhere near the scene, not just because of the possibility that rounds might fly but also because you want to make sure that there is no temptation for your spouse or kids, who will understandably be extremely anxious, to decide to get involved should they be watching and suddenly find themselves so worried that they feel they need to run to your aid. Ideally, they will move far from the area while either making an immediate 911 call on a cell phone or seeking a means by which an emergency call can be immediately made.

    3. Make sure your family knows what to say when the emergency call is made.

    It’s absolutely critical to make sure that someone from your family knows to make a call to 911 directly, even if they know others in the area have or are in the process of making similar calls. The purpose of that call is to make very sure that the dispatcher knows to alert responding officers to the fact that there’s an armed off duty officer in plainclothes at the scene. Whoever calls should give an extremely detailed description of where you are, what you’re wearing and what you were doing at the time they left the scene.

    4. Remember to make sure that your family – especially your kids – know what NOT to say.

    When it comes time to identify your office, timing is critical…especially in an off duty encounter. Your family should know that they are not, under any circumstances, to announce the fact that you’re a cop. That’s your job. A child suddenly blurting out, “Hey Dad! That guy’s got a gun and he’s holding up the cashier! You’re a police officer! Pull out your gun and get him!” could be an extremely costly mistake.

    5. Remember it doesn’t just stop at family.

    When appropriate, you should let close friends you may commonly hang out with in public settings know about these same rules. Also, referencing back to point 4 above, it’s important that you let people who you know well and who work in places you may commonly shop (like the local convenience store that’s a target for robberies) that if you happen to walk in on a robbery or other disturbance, they refrain from blurting out something like, “Thank God you’re here, Steve! This guy is holding me up! Get him. You, bad guy, are in a heap of trouble now! That guy who just walked in is a cop!!!”
    "Having a gun and thinking you are armed is like having a piano and thinking you are a musician" Col. Jeff Cooper (U.S.M.C. Ret.)
    Speed is fine, Accuracy is final


  2. #2
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    Default Re: 5 tips for family preparedness in an off-duty encounter

    This would be better posted in tactics and training....

    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty
    than to those attending too small a degree of it."~Thomas Jefferson, 1791
    Hobson fundraiser Remember SFN Read before you Open Carry

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: 5 tips for family preparedness in an off-duty encounter

    I'd suggest leaving it here where it will get a wider audience.

    It is good information.
    "...a REPUBLIC, if you can keep it."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Northampton, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: 5 tips for family preparedness in an off-duty encounter

    This is good information, things that I really havent thought about before, so I am glad to have more information to take to be more prepared for myself and my own family.

    I know that this may seem very obvious, but sometimes, myself and others could use some plain ideas to start off with. Could someone suggest good ideas for those keywords or phrases to use? Also what about safe havens, and places to run would be nice to hear ideas on because of the numerous places that people can be, the home is a good place to start, so what are some of the ideas out there that you all have, as to home emergency plans. What do you do, because I really dont have one.

    Any advice would be great
    "Our government has no power except that granted it by the people."

    President Ronald Reagan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
    (Franklin County)
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    Default Re: 5 tips for family preparedness in an off-duty encounter

    Quote Originally Posted by headcase View Post
    This would be better posted in tactics and training....
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by wa3ra View Post
    I'd suggest leaving it here where it will get a wider audience.
    That kind of defeats the purposes of organizing threads by subject matter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: 5 tips for family preparedness in an off-duty encounter

    very good information, and very true

    We covered a lot of this stuff, along with live fire drills and Pete shaking me and screaming in my ear HE HAS A GUN OM MY GOD OH MY GOD HE HAS A GUN in the FIRE Inst. Tactics I course I took last year.

    Discussion is the first step, and sometimes hard to start or be serious if your So doesnt "get it".
    We took an MCS class together, and did some role play FoF with airsoft with me my wife and son. After that the lights came on a little, and we had the discussion again, but more real and serious.

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