Secret Service Versus DC Police

No weapons order is an insult to rank-and-file police officers

Right before President Barack Obama watched the Washington Wizards hammer his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls, the Secret Service sent out an order to DC cops: if you're off-duty and packing heat, forget about getting into the game.

In an internal memo obtained by The Washington Examiner, the special agents said that "off-duty members attending the game will NOT be allowed to carry firearms into the arena.  As such, members attending the game in an off-duty capacity and armed will be denied entry."

It's not clear how many officers were affected by the order for the February 27 game at the Verizon Center, but "the order is an insult to rank-and-file police officers," police union chairman Kris Baumann told The Examiner. 

Officers must carry their guns, badges and identification with them at all times, unless they're attending religious events, participating in an athletic event or for some social occasions. 

The Secret Service, however, said the order was simply a routine request and the agency has made similar such requests whenever the president has gone to a public venue, according to Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan. 

"Off-duty officers don't know what our security plan is," he told The Examiner.  "We don't want a lot of people pulling guns who aren't identifiable as police officers."

There's only one problem: as noted on the memo, there were no lockers available for off-duty cops to check their weapons at February's game. So who's fooling who?     

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