NYMag- Since 2013, off-duty police officers have been prohibited from carrying guns into NFL stadiums. But in the wake of the attack near the Stade de France outside of Paris, the National Fraternal Order of Police has asked the league to once again allow off-duty officers to carry concealed weapons during games.
The terrorist attacks and threats of attacks from organizations like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are selecting targets based on the amount of death and injury they can inflict - mass murder and casualty events. Well-attended venues and areas are being deliberately targeted by the radical killers who do not intend or expect to survive the assault. Law enforcement, even when working actively with highly trained and skilled security professionals, cannot be certain that all threats will be detected and neutralized.
As you know, the FOP does not understand and does not agree with the League on this matter, especially with respect to active and retired law enforcement officers.
If permitted to carry concealed weapons, they create deconfliction issues for working law enforcement officers and increase the potential for “blue-on-blue” response confrontations. ... Moreover, off-duty law enforcement officers are not included in the on-site law enforcement chain of command or bound by department or agency-on-duty policies that that [sic] restrict their use of alcohol or subject them to other on-duty behavior standards.
"Law enforcement officers often carry a weapon while off duty not only for their own personal protection but to provide a critical response when circumstances call for immediate police action," the letter said. "Current events, not least the unconscionable acts of terrorism we have recently experienced, only add to the desirability of having readily available armed law enforcement officers even if they are not officially 'on duty.'"
Cops in street clothes, guns, booze, football. What can possibly go wrong?! It's not like on-duty cops have had any recent issues developing an itchy trigger finger while dealing with unruly citizens. I can't imagine having a bunch of them wandering around in football jerseys, with nothing of note that differentiates them from the casual fan, would cause anymore confusion. Sports fans, that occasionally have one or ten too many beers, will surely understand the volatility of the situation. I am sure the presence of more firearms will help them temper their belligerence. Everyone knows that the atmosphere at a football game lends itself towards calm, rational thought. These are police officers we are talking about. Even when their actions aren't restricted by the badge they always make the most sound of decision when put in precarious situations. They would never unintentionally sacrifice the safety of the public.
Listen, I am all about ensuring our safety, and although it never really feels like it, we are at risk when we are at an event that is sure to have nearly a hundred thousand other people in attendance. The attacks in Paris have made that blatantly clear. Still, I think there are better ways to make sure that nothing tragic happens at a football game than to litter stadiums with a bunch of nondescript police officers acting upon their own volition. You want to make security at the door tighter, and inevitably make lines longer in length and time, then be my guest. I understand there are more important things than getting inside in time to grab a beer and get to my seat before kickoff. However, incorporating more potential violence into an environment that's already extremely prone to it is sure to create more trouble than it will subside. If a terrorist gets onto the concourse we are already pretty goddamn fucked, so let's focus our efforts on keeping them out completely. Because as much as I respect the job law enforcement does, a cop not bound by the guidelines of his profession is no more helpful than you or I, even if he is carrying a gun.