When I think about heroes, U.S. Marine, PFC Dan Bullock, tops the list as one of my favorite true life stories. PFC Bullock was just 15 years old when he was killed in action during the Vietnam War. Dan Bullock dreamed of becoming a US Marine or a police officer. Like Dan Bullock, I have passion and respect for the military and police officers. I have deep appreciation and admiration of him seeking out and achieving his dream to serve.
Dan bullock was just 14 years old when he altered his birth certificate to show that he was 18 years old so he could enlist. On September 18, 1968 he joined the Marine Corps and was assigned to Foxtrot Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. On May 18, 1969, his platoon came under night attack by the North Vietnamese Army. While making an ammunition run to supply his platoon, he was killed in action by small arms fire. PFC Dan Bullock was just 15 years old making him the youngest servicemen killed in action during the Vietnam war.
As a proud African-American helping defend our country, I'm sure nobody questioned him about the color of his skin or what area of country he was raised. Although he died in service of our country, his story lives on. Still, I always reflect if Dan Bullock would have ultimately become a police officer after his tour in the military because of his sense of duty and service. When you come across a military serviceman or a police officer, think of PFC Dan Bullock. Approach that serviceman or police officer and thank them for keeping us safe. With the inspiration and dedication of people like Dan Bullock, our country is a better and safer place.
Timothy Jackson Jr.
My name is Timothy Jackson Jr. and I've always had great admiration for the work performed by police and military service persons. They keep this great nation safe. I'm proud to tell you that my father has been a police officer for my whole life. Because of my lack of mobility due to having cerebral palsy, I know that I can never be a police or military officer. However, I do have the ability to express my thoughts and feelings. Being of African-American descent, I have always wondered who was the first black law-enforcement officer in the United States. After a little research I found that Bass Reeves was the first known African-American law-enforcement officer in the United States of America.
In 1875 Bass Reeves, after being appointed by US marshal James Fagan, began his career. Fagan hired Reeves due to his extensive knowledge of the Indian Territory and his ability to speak several different Native American tribal languages. Bass Reeves served as a Deputy United States Marshal for over 35 years. He marked his place in history by being one of the greatest lawmen in Indian Territory, bringing in more than 3,000 outlaws and helping to calm the lawless territory. Killing approximately 14 men during his service, Reeves always stated that he "never shot a man when it was not necessary for him to do so in the discharge of his duty or to save his own life."
Bass Reeves was a true American hero and a relentless fighter against crime. When you have the time, search the Internet for Bass Reeves and learn more about this American hero. I guarantee that his example will inspire you to make a difference in your community.
Timothy Jackson Jr.
California CCW (Conceal Carry Weapon License): Rules of the Road
by Robert St Amour
Every Chief of Police (COP) and Sheriff can issue Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) licenses (sometimes referred to as “permits”) in California. Few police chiefs issue CCW licenses....why: their tenure can be short and they work for the city council/city manager/mayor of their city, not the citizens/voters. In California CCW licenses are issued for "good cause". There is no state wide definition of “good cause”; every sheriff has her or his own definition; “personal protection" fulfills the good cause requirement for some while another sheriff won’t issue a CCW license even if you are on the Taliban's 10 most wanted list. No one has the right to a CCW license, nor is a Sheriff or COP required to issue a license. By law, each sheriff (or COP) has the discretion to approve or deny CCW license applications as well as revoke licenses that have already been issued.
California doesn't recognize or honor CCW licenses for other states (the only exception is HR-218 qualified police officers and retired police officers from other states.) If a person obtains a CCW license in Placer County, they can conceal carry in all 58 of California’s counties. The fact that the sheriff in county X doesn’t issue CCW licenses does not restrict a CCW license holder from a different county from “carrying” in county X (working, visiting, etc.)
The State of California CCW requirements:
- The applicant must be of good moral character (legally able to possess a firearm; absence of involvement in criminal activities; an evaluation of an individual's moral qualities: “deadbeat dad”, gambling problems, problems with alcohol, mental fitness, etc.)
- Good cause exists to issue the Concealed Carry Weapon license (from “personal protection” to a specific threat or dangerous activity)
- The applicant meets residence requirements (must live in the county or city he/she is requesting the CCW permit from; two forms of proof of residency are usually required)
- The course of training prescribed by the licensing authority (6-16 hours depending on requirements of issuing agency) has been completed
Why do people apply for and obtain CCW permits?
- They have decided to take personal responsibility for their and their family’s protection.
- They understand that law enforcement cannot be everywhere; a life-threatening event can happen in the blink of an eye and they want to be prepared for that possibility.
A few specifics:
- CCW licensees are legally licensed to carry a loaded concealed firearm on their person or in a vehicle (while they are present) in all 58 of California’s counties.
- There is (usually) a maximum of three (3) weapons allowed on a CCW license. A few counties allow more, but all weapons must be listed by make, model, caliber and serial number on the permit/license.
- Any weapon listed on a CCW license must be registered to the holder of the license
- Spouses may list each-other’s properly registered weapons on their license.
- All weapons listed on the CCW license may be carried (e.g. it’s legal to carry more than one concealed weapon at a time).
- The CCW license must be “in possession” of the licensee when armed.
- California has approx.70,000 active CCW permits (Florida has about 1.3 million).
- Cost for a CCW permit is approx. $600-$750, depending upon the issuing authority’s requirements and fees
- Applicants are backgrounded (Live Scan, local/State/Federal records) and interviewed.
- Wait time to obtain a CCW license is from 3 months to 1 year
DOJ requirements, when carrying CCW (California Penal Code 26200):
A CCW licensee cannot:
- Consume any alcoholic beverage (zero tolerance)
- Be in a place having a primary purpose of dispensing alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption (21 and over to enter i.e. a bar vs a restaurant)
- Be under the influence of any medication or drug, whether prescribed or not (including marijuana)
- Use any illegal drug
- Refuse to show license or surrender weapon to law enforcement upon request e.g. during a traffic stop or other interaction
- Impede any peace officer (does not have to a 148 PC situation, may simply be refusal to cooperate to an officers lawful request)
- Represent themselves as a peace officer (a CCW licensee is not a police officer)
- Possess a weapon any place where prohibited by law (federal building, court house, etc.)
- Unjustifiably display a weapon (417 PC or simply display in a public place; a concealed weapon is intended to be concealed until it is needed for self-defense)
- Carry a concealed weapon not listed on the license
In addition to the above restrictions, each issuing agency can include any reasonable restrictions or conditions that the issuing authority deems warranted. Example: some sheriff’s require that the licensee must disclose, when stopped or detained by law enforcement, their status as a CCW license holder when they are carrying a weapon on their person or in their vehicle.
Failure to adhere to any of the listed restrictions may (usually will) result in the revocation of the CCW license
State mandated training to obtain a CCW license: Each applicant must take a CCW training course (minimum of 6 hours and up to16 hours, depending on requirements of issuing agency). Each issuing agency (sheriff or COP) certifies their CCW instructors (there are State requirements too e.g. must be a certified firearms instructor). Instructors are private contractors/businesses and usually have certifications from multiple agencies’ (i.e. Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado Counties). The cost varies, usually from $150 – $250 dollars.
Training includes: gun safety and nomenclature, fundamentals of ammunition, fundamentals of marksmanship, drawing/holstering, CA Penal Codes (on the DOJ application), elements of brandishing a firearm (no brandishing or displaying – except in self-defense), willful discharge of a firearm (no warning or chasing shots), property crimes(burglary)/non-deadly force assault (fist fight) vs. threat of great bodily injury or death (you cannot use deadly force to stop non-deadly force and you cannot use deadly force to protect “mere property”), less than lethal force options vs. lethal force, avoidance: when possible avoid/deescalate/retreat, potential liability (criminal and civil), DOJ conditions and restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon, documentation required at the time of CCW appointment
CCW applicants are expected to have experience manipulating and shooting the weapon(s) they want on their license. The range section of the CCW training is not a basic pistol course, but a qualification course. Firearms safety is stressed. Gun handling and the mechanical functions of a pistol and revolver are covered. The basics of marksmanship (grip, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger control, follow through) are addressed.
Applicants must demonstrate firearms safety; manipulating skills (manually locking the slide back, loading/unloading, de-cocking and operating any manually safeties); and marksmanship or they fail. Applicants must qualify with each weapon listed on their application. The issuing agency sets general guidelines for the course of fire. Specifics of the qualification course is usually left up to the CCW instructor: distance (from 5-30 feet), the minimum number of rounds fired (usually 50 rounds for primary weapon), and number of hits required for qualification (70% or better).
Contact with Law Enforcement
Most issuing agencies require CCW license holders to identify themselves when stopped or detained by law enforcement. Some require they disclose only if they are armed, while other agencies require disclosure if they are armed or not.
Contact with law enforcement often occurs during a traffic stop, with the CCW licensee as the driver or passenger. I tell CCW license holders to identify themselves ASAP during the contact by stating: “Officer/Deputy, I have a Conceal Carry License/Permit and I’m armed” or words to that effect; to make no sudden movies and keep their hands in view; wait for direction by the officer or deputy i.e. produce their CCW license, identify where their weapon is (right side hip, purse, ankle holster, etc.) or exit the vehicle if instructed to do so. CCW licensees know they can be disarmed during the duration of the stop.
As you can see, to obtain a CCW license in California is not an inexpensive, easy or quick process. Applicants have to jump through a lot hoops before they obtain their license. The majority of (if not all) CCW applicants and license holders I have come in contact with (250+) strongly support (and respect) law enforcement. They are “good citizens” (voters, tax payers, law abiding); the type of person you would want as a neighbor or driving by your traffic stop when the interaction between you and the driver has gone to “hell in a handbasket” e.g. you’re getting your head pounded into the sidewalk.
The above article is for informational purposes only. The article is based upon "personal opinion and experience” and should be considered practical advice, not legal advice. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions. The information contained in this article is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.
We recently honored our fallen heroes at the Police Memorial Week ceremony in Washington D.C. I take pride, as does our membership, of being a part of this great organization known as the Fraternal Order of Police. This year yet another San Jose officer are among those to be honored. I thank the officers that sent me photos of the events and challenge every officer to attend the Memorial if possible.
Recently, Fabien Cota, a retired officer from Arizona and friend visited me. We first met at the Harvard University Police Union leadership school when we were both presidents of our associations. After several conversations with Mr. Cota and Rick Perine (his vice-president) we developed a friendship and agreed that we would maintain communication. The relationship developed because of similar issues affecting our associations that started with SJPOA/Mesa POA and continues with Lodge 52 today.
At Harvard, the topic that I found most important was presented by an economist; he predicted the pension problems that would eventually affect all agencies. He told us to prepare for a backlash and a resentment of our pensions if the public was not educated on retirement systems. With hard economic times, he foresaw we could become an easy target focus of scrutiny and re-evaluation.
After returning from the leadership school, I attempted to informed other leaders at a state meeting about the possible attack on our pensions and the need for preparation. I was shocked and surprised at the level of denial I was met with. I remember several union leaders telling me that politicians and government officials would not turn on law enforcement. Some laughed, confidently telling me that it could not happen here secure in their political influence.
We now know that those assumptions were wrong as many of those friends jump on the bandwagon to blame pensions as the culprit for the monetary problems, others just kept silent as public safety took the brunt of the blame. Many departments budgets were slashed causing reduced staffing and cutback in benefits. The race to the courtroom was on as each side spent million across the country to prevent a disaster. A resource that has been ignored is the voter themselves we sometimes forget that the law enforcement community enjoys a high level of trust and respect by a majority of the public for the difficult job we do. Unfortunately, we do a poor job of publicizing and emphasizing the positive aspects of our profession and generating a momentum that causes change. We can convert the high level of trust into political clout with hard work and shared effort, no single organization can accomplished this alone, Law Enforcement needs to come together to be effective.
Political acumen and understanding within the law enforcement community is one tool we have available. All too often, it seems small vocal groups often cause panic and grab the headlines with protests or demonstrations. Media gives these groups a national voice to spread the hate for the police. The past four years has brought riots and the destruction of property as different media groups stoke the flames in a constant attempt to be first with something new regardless of truth or accuracy.
We are at a critical time our input be heard as well. Associations need to be cohesive, especially at local, state, and national levels. Law enforcement associations having a record of community outreach and political involvement need to mentor those minimally involved. Creating partnerships with associations and the public is key to confronting issues that affect our ability to provide for their safety.