Why Volunteer To Carry Firearms? | ARV Blog

It’s a good question. Why did I, or why would you volunteer to become an armed cop? Why would anyone want to face armed criminals?

Why, in the time of such a terrorist threat, would anyone want to be one of the Officers running towards the threat?

All good, valid questions that I asked myself and have had my loved ones ask me.

Let’s just go back a few years. I joined the Police in my 30’s (my 30’s not the 30’s!) and have pretty much enjoyed it all.

I did my time on response, worked in squads and targeted Organised Crime Groups.

On Response, the dispatcher would shout out to see who was available to attend the next incident. If it was a criminal damage, a neighbour dispute, a missing person, or a shoplifter I would go but not be very excited by it.

However, a man in the street with a knife, groups fighting, person with axe/baseball bat/sword etc, then the goosebumps on my arms would stand up, my pulse would rise, the adrenaline would kick in and with a little excitement I would shout up to say that I was on my way.

Weird isn’t it.

The type of incidents that could be more dangerous to me and my colleagues, the more I wanted to attend.

I say ‘could be’ more dangerous as you never know what you will find at any incident you attend and we all know friends and colleagues that have been badly injured or worse going to a very ‘ordinary’ incident.

We are all aware of Officers that have tragically lost their lives attending the every day, routine jobs.

I don’t have a death wish, I don’t think that I’m unbreakable and I’m not built like The Hulk with fists of steel and bullet proof underwear.

But, like many many others I’m sure, I like to attend the more serious incidents. I suppose it’s because I want to send the more serious offenders away.

It’s very clichéd I know, but I really do want to make a difference. I really do want to see the criminals get long sentences. I want the guns off the streets. Never going to happen but at least we are trying.

So, back to the original question, why volunteer to carry firearms?

I enjoy being a cop, I enjoy sending the bigger players to prison. The Firearms department has a reputation for being lazy, for being arrogant, for being up its own arse.

Driving around in X5’s, wearing the Raybans (other sunglasses are available), getting gym time at work, etc etc. However, I could see the other side. The professionalism, the dedication, the regular training and the teamwork. Always the teamwork.

My first week of the 12 week course, we were told “The first two weeks we will teach you how to shoot. The following 10 weeks we teach you the tactics so that you’ll never have to.” That has stayed with me. I genuinely hope that I never have to pull the trigger on a deployment.

I hope that I never have to shoot to stop someone.

I truly believe that the criminals with guns have them for their own protection, to commit their crimes and to threaten/shoot other criminals that are encroaching on their territory.

They generally don’t want to take on the Police. Generally. Usually. Mostly.

Obviously there are ones that will do anything to evade capture or will purposely target the Police but, thankfully, these individuals are rare.

When ‘we’ turn up on a deployment, we outnumber ‘them’, we are better trained, have better weapons and have better kit.

We are good at what we do. We are trained to deal with these incidents.

We are trained to perform the tasks and tactics asked of us.

We train on a regular basis. We have to keep up to date with all the training, the fitness test, the medical, and if we don’t, we go ‘offline’ and we can’t carry. It is that strict. It is that regimented, it is that professional.

It is this professionalism, the structure, the teamwork, the pride in what we do that makes me want to carry firearms.

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