If there is one group of people who deserve a vacation so they can relax and clear their head, it’s a police officer. They encounter so many dangerous situations while they protect the people of the town, it can certainly weigh on them.
Not only do they need a chance get their head right, but they also need time to spend with their families. The duty of a police officer is so demanding, often times it is the family who suffers. Who can count how many dance recitals have been missed, how many anniversaries had to be cut short, and how many day trips were cancelled because the job needed them? A police officer’s vacation is the only chance they really have to let their hair down and enjoy time with their loved ones.
With the summer is coming to a close and lots of folks are busy planning vacations, it’s understandable that you are going to want to plan a great vacation with your family, too. Here’s some do’s and don’ts about police vacationing.
• Carry a concealed pistol. Although you may be off duty and even in another state, you’ll have to be able to protect yourself, your family members, or anyone else should something happen. Many off-duty police officers carry a concealed weapon because they never know when it could be a matter of life or death. Just remember if you are ever in that position, identify yourself immediately and follow any directions arriving police officers give.
• Carry your badge and the Department-issued ID. Although you aren’t actively anticipating being put into a dangerous situation when you’re on vacation with your family, you never want to be unprepared. By carrying your badge with you, you’ll be prepared to offer help and be a viable witness.
• Always wear clothes that are a logical choice for the location. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many officers wear their department’s T-shirts or other items. The point of being on vacation is not to be recognized as an officer and enjoy being a normal person on a much-needed vacation.
• Relax and have a great time. You’re on vacation and to say that you’ve deserved it would be an understatement. Sit back, have a few beverages (if you drink) and enjoy the peace and quiet. This is your time to let loose and have fun.
• Carry your pistol in a bag. Whether it is a knapsack, fanny pack, or yours or your wife’s purse, you don’t want your weapon anywhere that isn’t on your person. Not only is it dangerous, but it isn’t fooling anyone. If people see you with a fanny pack that looks like it weighs more than a few pounds, people are going to be suspicious.
• “Accidentally” whip your badge out hoping to get free or discounted goods. Flashing your badge or showing up to a venue in uniform may be a way to get cheap goods at home, but you’re on vacation, and there is no need for that kind of elitism. If you’re speeding to get to the beach or somewhere, you could mention that you’re a fellow officer to catch a break maybe, but you definitely do not want to go around waving your badge and advertising it.
• Drive after you’s been drinking. You should be well aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, you are a cop after all. If you get arrested for driving while drunk or driving under the influence, the news will have a field day by saying that an off-duty officer was caught driving while drunk. Whatever you do, if you’ve got your pistol on you, never whip it out and start shooting it, even if it seems like it’d be a perfect shooting range.
We hope that with these simple do’s and don’ts, you’ll be able to plan a great vacation with your family and be safe too. Remember that although you dedicate your life to keeping others safe, you can’t forget about taking care of yourself, and that means taking some time away to relax, decompress, and enjoy being with people you love.