You’re late to work and rushing down the highway when you notice a state trooper pull in behind you.
Maybe you witnessed a traffic crash and are getting ready to give the investigating officer a statement.
Perhaps you’ve been attacked, had to defend yourself and hear the sirens of responding deputies coming your way.
In all of these cases you are going to interact with a law enforcement officer. As a armed citizen, how do you handle it?
We have a right to be armed to defend ourselves. But, we have the responsibility to do so in a reasonable manner.
In my mind, this includes putting ourselves in the shoes of the police officer who’s going to talk to us. He or she has no idea if we are a good guy or a dirt bag that will try to kill them. How we act can go a long way to making the encounter relatively low-stress for everyone…or making it a high-stress disaster in which everyone loses.
If you take personal protection seriously, you have and will continue to seek training to improve your skills. Many of us have taken basic and advanced firearms classes. Some of us have also attended seminars on the laws surrounding self defense. A few of us have even taken first aid or TCCC classes.
But how many of us have had real training on how to interact with police officers when we are armed?
Sure, the basic 4-, 8- or 16-hour class you took to qualify for your carry permit possibly touched on the subject. But, did it really address all of your concerns? If you were pulled over today, are you completely confident that you will handle the interaction correctly?
Real training dedicated to the topic is worth pursuing. If you carry every day, you are more likely to talk to a police officer while carrying a pistol than you are to need the gun to shoot an attacker. Doesn’t it make sense to get some training on the topic?
Be cool…It’s the cops…
As a former police officer, I’ve considered putting together a guide to dealing with law enforcement while you are carrying your handgun. I’ve seen some bad information floating around the internet that could really create a bad situation for you. Heck, I’ve even seen a book make some very bad recommendations in this regard. (Click here to read a review of Legally Armed – a book that I strongly recommend against buying!)
However, I recently took an online course on interacting with law enforcement that goes well beyond what I was going to do.
The course is called Interactions with Law Enforcement While Armed. This is an online training class offered by the Personal Defense Network. The course instructor, Rob Pincus, reached out to me recently and asked me to take the class and share my thoughts with you on it.
As with all of my reviews, I made no promises to Pincus that this would be a positive review. If the class sucks, I’m going to tell you about it.
I’m happy to say the course was not only good, but it exceeded my expectations. I had expected a single video of 30 minutes or so. The course is actually much more in-depth than that.
There are a total of 10 videos in the course. They range in length from 3 minutes and 19 seconds for the final wrap-up video to a nearly 40 minute training session just on dealing with law enforcement in the aftermath of a use of force incident.
Additional video topics include carrying firearms in buildings, off body transportation of firearms in vehicles and how to approach law enforcement officers. The total run time on the videos is more than two hours. What I thought would be a quick video review instead turned into a full blown course complete with training worksheets, checklists and class notes.
The information provided in this online class is very good and thorough. Pincus does an excellent job of describing how to handle a police encounter.
With his background as a firearms instructor, armed citizen and law enforcement officer, Pincus is able to clearly explain both what to do and why to do it. It is impossible to give you a step-by-step set of instructions for every possible variation of a police encounter. By explaining the hows and the whys, Pincus is giving you the tools to navigate your own unique interaction.
I recommend taking this class if you’ve never had in-depth, specific training on the topic. Even if you’ve had an excellent course on interacting with law enforcement when armed, this video training will serve as a refresher on some of the concepts while presenting an additional view on the subject. At $39.99, this course will cost you less than a day at the range.
Before you spend a dime on anything you see reviewed online (or in a magazine for that matter,) you should know the back story on how the review came to be. Many “reviews” are literally paid for by manufacturers looking to generate positive articles about their products. Unlike the vast majority of media outlets, GunsHolstersAndGear.com (GHG) has a policy of full disclosure on all of my reviews.
I was provided free access to the entire video course described in this article. This was provided by the Personal Defense Network (PDN) so I could review it.
No additional monies or compensation was provided or offered by the PDN or Rob Pincus to do this review. No one asked that this review be positive, nor were any promises made that it would be so.
I have no financial interest in the PDN or any other firearms-related company. PDN is not an advertiser, nor are we in any talks for them to become one. Actually, I do not accept any advertising on the site. (Note: there may be a few Google AdSense ads still on the site, though I’ve been removing these as I find them.)
GHG is a for-profit website. It puts food on my table, pays for my kids’ doctors bills and keeps the lights on. I earn money through affiliate relationships with companies like Amazon and Brownells. If you have any questions, leave a comment in the section below. I’m always happy to talk about the site, the article or nearly anything else gun-related.