Armed off-duty officers told to leave concert in Kentucky

This story was sent in to us by a reader and it should have particular relevance on a national level considering all of the gruesome headlines dominating the news recently. In Louisville, Kentucky this past week, a well attended country music concert wound up causing quite a stir when the festival’s organizers told off-duty police officers that they would have to leave. Their crime was apparently the sin of following standing orders and open carrying during the event so they could be available to render help in the event of a crisis. (NBC Wave 3 News)

A concert at The Louisville Palace, featuring some of country music’s biggest stars, hit a sour note when off-duty police officers were not allowed inside Wednesday night.

The reason? The officers had their weapons.

The off-duty officers said they were abiding by department policy by keeping their weapons on them. They were told they could disarm, or leave, and they left. The issue now has Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad weighing in.

The Live Nation concert at the Palace featured some of country music’s hottest acts such as Chris Stapleton and Trace Adkins. The officers, who were there with their wives or girlfriends, were excited to see the show.

On the surface this sounds like a fairly crazy story. The cops had shown up for the show and gone out of their way to identify themselves to the organizers, letting them know they were there and available to lend a hand if needed. Further, it turns out that the PD’s standing orders for off-duty cops includes a very specific instruction applying to this situation. “While within Jefferson County, an officer must carry an approved pistol of .380 caliber or larger. The reason being, if officers are needed in a situation where a crime is happening, they can help.”

Now, that doesn’t mean that the owners of the private venue still can’t keep people (including off-duty cops) off their property for carrying, but why would you in this case? I mean, it’s not like terrorists are going around and shooting up crowded concert halls or anything.

On a related note, the article reminds us that the NFL doesn’t allow off-duty officers to carry at football games either. Why are we still sticking with that policy in the here and now? I suppose they think it unlikely that the terrorists would ever stoop so low as to try to blow up or shoot up a crowded, major, professional sporting event. I understand that liberals like to try to mock or discredit the idea of “a good guy with a gun” during a crisis, but we’re not talking about some civilian with unknown training and credentials here. These are cops.

Are we just trying to make it easier for our citizens to get killed in the name of political correctness at this point? Even if standing policies such as these have been in place for years, I’d say it’s time to give them a fresh look and do so quickly.