Published On: Fri, Nov 18th, 2016

At risk 24/7

If the Richmer York case shows anything, it is that police officers are at risk 24 hours a day. On duty or off duty – it does not make any difference.

Oh wait, it does make a difference. When officers wear their uniform, they have the monopoly on violence. So if a rebellious citizen threatens their life, say, with an axe or a spade, they are within their rights when they pull their service weapon and use it when push comes to shove.

When they are off duty they routinely carry their firearms as well – and then it becomes a different ball game, as York can tell you. Threatened within an inch of his life, he pulled the trigger, killing Hakeem Isidora, and currently spending jail time as a result of it.

Right or wrong? Should off duty officers carry firearms? And if they shouldn’t, who is there to protect them when hoodlums like Isidora come after them?

There is a thin line between right and wrong here. For now, we go with the notion that responsible police officers should be allowed to carry their service weapons off duty. At the same time, these officers ought to realize that this comes with a serious responsibility and they should not use their weapons lightly.