Following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Detroit police union officials have demonstrated opposition to an NFL policy that disallows off-duty cops from bringing firearms inside the stadiums, stating that the rule puts lives in danger.
“This policy is ill-advised and should be rescinded,” said a draft of a letter, penned by leaders of the city’s three police unions: The Detroit Police Officers Association, Lieutenants and Sergeants Association, and the Command Officers Association.
“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,” said the letter, which had not been sent to the league as of Friday evening as the unions finalizes things.
Smaller police unions in Michigan, Minnesota, and New York have also recently opposed the latest policy. In August, the Minnesota Court of Appeals sided with the NFL after the state filed a suit against the league’s gun ban.
Moreover, The NYPD’s sergeants union also thinks that off-duty cops should be allowed to carry guns inside an NFL stadium, and they are planning legal action to change the ruling. League officials notified team owners in September to no longer allow members of law enforcement to pack heat at games while not on the clock.
However, various sources have said that there are two exemptions in this scenario — the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans — which convinced the league that Texas gun laws replaced NFL policy.
Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the NFL, said in an email that the current security at stadiums is more than adequate. “The on-duty law enforcement personnel assigned to NFL stadiums are specially trained and required to participate in weekly meetings pertaining to pre-game and game day security and law enforcement planning, strategy and emergency response procedures and protocols,” he wrote.
“Recognizing that reasonable people may hold a different view, the NFL believes the safest environment for all fans is achieved by limiting the number of firearms and weapons inside stadiums to those required by officers that perform specifically assigned law enforcement working functions and game day duties.”
Off-duty city cops are allowed to bring their weapons into Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center.
Gunmen and terrorists killed 130 people across Paris in the Nov. 13 attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, including one killed and several others injured by three suicide bombers outside the Stade de France during a soccer match between France and Germany.
There are innumerable theories and stories as to why the terrorists’ plan at the stadium was completely unexpected and didn’t claim more lives. However, law enforcement and security experts have warned that a similar attack inside a United States stadium could be deadly, and say the NFL should overhaul its firearm ban for off-duty cops.
It is important to keep in mind that police all across the country have censured and condemned the NFL policy. The head of the New York Police Department’s Benevolent Sergeant’s Association has created an online petition calling for the league to improve and restructure the policy. Since Friday, the petition had more than 2,500 signatures.