Browsing all articles from March, 2011

Those that Carry should ALWAYS Carry

Posted Posted by DetectiveEstes in Detective Estes' Corner     Comments No comments

Those that carry should always carry.  We’ are discussing carrying a firearm for protection.  I have carried a gun on duty and off duty for 37 years as a police officer.  Now that I am retired, many may ask if I intend to continue to carry even though retired.  The answer is an unqualified yes!

At the Arlington County Police, where I worked, carrying a gun off duty was always an option.  My opinion was that my duty to protect myself and my family did not end after a 10-hour shift.  I have never understood why a police officer would think that way.  It is contrary to the job.  Police officers should carry a firearm as religiously off duty as they do when they are on duty.

During research of this subject, I googled the killings of off duty police for the last 12 months.  There were more officers killed while off-duty than I expected.  Three were Chicago police officers.  Just a few days ago a St. Louis officer was killed while off-duty.  If my research was correct,  19 off-duty officers were killed in the last 12 months.  Those officers are not included in the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics which only cover on-duty officers.  This research had to be done by depending on the media to properly title articles so they state an officer was killed while off-duty.  Fortunately for research purposes, this was a newsworthy subject.  Most of these off-duty deaths were not in any kind of hot spots, like a bar or restaurant.  Several were some kind of robbery crime directed at the off-duty officer.  And a couple were done to an off-duty officer who was not armed.

The point I’m trying to make here, is the same point I’m going to make in the next paragraph to citizens who carry a gun.  That point is that police officers should carry their weapons off duty; all the time.  Never leave home without it.  Never be caught without a gun.  Carry that gun as religiously as you carry your driver’s license or credit cards.  It is far more valuable than either of those.

I’ll relate a story that happened to me a number of years ago to prove my point to police officers.  My wife and I were on a Sunday afternoon drive in a residential area of Arlington.  This was before cell phones and also before 911 in Arlington.  I noticed a small car in front of us with a man and a woman inside.  Suddenly the male driver hit the woman on the side of the head!  I could tell from the way her head snapped to the side how hard the hit was.  A couple seconds later he back-handed her in the face.  By now it was obvious that the woman was hurt from the way she was crying and holding her face.  I saw the traffic light just ahead was turning red so I told my wife I would walk up on the car then and that she should copy the tag down.   Just then the male struck the woman in the side of the head again; so hard this time that she was thrown out of the car and landed on the pavement!  I stopped my car and jumped out and ran up to the woman.  She appeared dazed, so I helped her up and sat her on a curb close to a phone.  I called the Arlington Police phone number and a dispatcher answered.  I told what happened, where I was,  identified myself and asked for back-up.  The man had stopped the car and got out.  The woman and I were about 20 yards from him.  He opened his trunk, looked at me and said, “I’ll teach you to get in my business”.  He brought an axe out of the trunk and walked toward me.  When he got about 10 yards away I unholstered my Charter Arms Bulldog *  and pointed it at him.  I told him I was a police officer and he’d better leave and that he should put his weapon on the ground.  He laid the axe down and backed up.

The woman then got up from the  curb and told him to get in the car and she would be right there.  By now, she had swelling all over her head and was in obvious pain from the beating she had just gotten.  The woman then thanked me for not killing her boyfriend and said she would be alright.  She walked back to the car and got in.  The man got in and they left together.

The police never came.  The dispatcher acted like I had never called.  I hung up the phone, walked back to my car and my wife and I continued our afternoon drive.

Sometimes I still think about what might have happened if there had been no intercession.   The boyfriend could have beaten the woman further.  Or, if I had no gun:  The axe might have been used on me, and later, my wife as well!  And since the police were never notified by the dispatcher of my phone call, there would have been no clue to detectives as to any suspects.

For the remainder of law abiding citizens who choose to carry a firearm for protection, you should never leave without it.  Carry it with you always.  We never know when danger will appear.  But when it does, you shouldn’t have to think, “damn, I sure wish I had my gun.”  By not having your gun, you may forfeit your life or the lives of some or all of your family.

There are many examples of not having a gun at a prime killing time.  One of the most infamous was the massacre at Virginia Tech, April 16, 2007.  Thirty-three students and instructors died that day, like lambs at the slaughter.  No place to go.  Trapped with a psycho.  Waiting to die.  But the outcome might have ended differently if  there had been just one personally carried firearm   But as usual, college administrators were thinking with their head in the sand. Refusing to allow law abiding students to carry personal protection on campus.  And, like all law abiding citizens, the students obeyed the law.  The killer however, like all criminals, paid no attention to the law and carried his weapon where he wanted to kill.

What’s the answer to students?  What’s the answer to any law abiding citizen who wants to carry personal protection but is prohibited by a stupid law.  The decision is up to each person.  Most citizens would not consider deliberately breaking the law and would leave their gun at home, taking a chance like the Virginia Tech students did on April 16, 2007.

A few years ago the Washington Post newspaper wrote an extensive article on drug dealers in Washington, D.C.*  One of the dealers was quoted as saying, “Every day when I get up I put my gun on.  I would no sooner leave my gun off than I would leave my pants off”.  I understand exactly how this person feels.  You who have elected to legally carry a firearm should understand as well.

Those of you that carry a gun with you for protection should be in the habit of putting your gun on before you have completely dressed.  This gets the habit started and continuing, that your gun is as important to your lifestyle as the rest of your wardrobe.  Like a necktie, or a pair of socks.  Nothing else is quite so important as that firearm.  Not even clean underwear.

After you have your gun in place, but before you leave, practice quick removal of your gun from it’s place, bring it to eye level, point it at something and think about shooting.   Do this a few times so your muscle memory  develops where your hand has to go to grab the gun if its needed.   If you decide to dry-fire, be sure to unload your firearm keeping it pointed in a safe direction while doing so.  When you have completed your practice remember to reload your gun and return it to the holster. (  The citation is a decent article about the definition of muscle memory and its value in some athletic training.  The reader could easily transfer this to shooting training.

Remember, always carry your firearm.  Like the old saying, ‘it is better to have and not need, than to need and not have’.

There are some that would say, ‘would you carry your gun to the grocery store?’.  The answer is – of course.  January 8, 2011 Congresswoman Giffords was shot outside a grocery store.  Others were killed and wounded as well.  A person who had was carrying a personal firearm ran out of the store but the suspect had been subdued by then.

Some would say, ‘would you carry your gun to church?’  In 2010, if my research was correct, there were five church shootings in various parts of the country.  Six people were killed and two were injured.  Yes, I would carry a gun to church.

Virginia Senator McEachin is introducing a bill in Virginia to ban law abiding citizens from carrying guns in churches in the state.  Of course the law won’t ban guns by criminals:  See the Virginia Tech massacre to prove that.

Once more as a reminder, always carry your personal defense firearm.  Always be prepared for danger.  Always be aware of who is around you and what those people are doing.  Try very hard not to be surprised by anyone suddenly appearing that you didn’t know was there.  Even if you are surprised, move as quickly as possible to get yourself into a defense position so, if you are attacked, you have a plan and a place to go for some decent cover.

Remember, always carry your personal defense firearm with you.

Introduction of the Corner & What’s to Come

Posted Posted by DetectiveEstes in Detective Estes' Corner     Comments No comments

Hello All – This is my first post on my new blog. I thought I’d introduce myself and the blog. I established a non-profit corporation in 2007 called Police Education Institute.  If you read the entire website, you’ll learn a good bit about me and what I expect to do as a non-profit corporation.

Now, as to “Detective Estes Corner”.  The reason for the blog is so I can have a little fun with writing.   Another reason is so I can extend some of my knowledge and interest in various subjects to others.  In my lifetime, I’ve learned a good bit about different subjects.  Some of this learning is useful, some useless.  I’ll try to keep the useless information out of here.

A good thing about this blog is the reader can reply to me.  Agree or disagree – it’s up to you.  Feel free to critique the blog, the subject, or the writing.  I believe criticism is a good learning tool.

I will be writing mostly about the following: police work, guns, music, maybe cooking & maybe art.  I know a good bit about police work, guns and music and not so much about art & cooking.  The entertainment written here is not specifically for police officers.  There will be many stories about things I think might be interesting to others as well.  I enjoy camping, scouting, cooking over a campfire, photography, driving and motorcycles.  There may be reviews of things I’ve used in various activities or I am using now.

I expect to write a lot about police work & investigations as I have done more of that than anything else in life.  Various subjects will be discussed.  Things I liked most about police work are investigations, arrests, search warrants and interviews.  Lest you think that means only detectives, NOT SO!!!  Investigations are what all cops do!! Readers should be aware that I retired from the Arlington County Police Department in 2010.

Arrests are what cops do as well.  I like stories, so I might throw in a story every so often.  These stories will be about things I’ve participated in, or others close to me have done.  If the story is about a myself or officers I know, then I might critique it for officer safety, or learning techniques.  If I do not know the officers involved then I don’t critique.  I do, however, like hearing about cops making great arrests, and doing a great job at some activities.  I may include a link to a story like that in the blog so others can see an outstanding job by the police.  It’s best to see it here because the mainstream media will never show the police doing good.

Search warrants were nearly my favorite police activity.  Search warrants can be confusing to nearly all police officers.  I think examples of search warrants shown here would be helpful to officers.  There will be examples sometimes of search warrants along with helpful hints.  This may ease some trepidation that officers/detectives have about writing search warrants.  I’ve known detectives who were so intimidated by search warrants that they would deliberately punt their case to another detective, or suspend the case so they wouldn’t have to write one!   I taught many detectives and officers how to write a search warrant.  Fact:  Anyone who can verbally articulate an arrest warrant can write the articulation needed for a search warrant.  And in the same amount of time.  We will look at search warrant examples.  If you have problems with search warrants, maybe this will help.

Interviewing is another favorite activity of mine.  I’ve interviewed a lot of people in 37 years of being the police.  This is another activity that many police officers dread, or are at least very unsure of.  I hope to remedy some of that here.  I teach a class named; “The 30 Minute Interview”.  I’ve taught this class to nearly a thousand police officers and detectives and security officers as well.  Most of these officers were uniform officers. The class is targeted toward uniform officers.  Sometimes I’ll put up a suggestion here that I think would be helpful in police interviewing.  I’ve had many officers contact me and let me know they used techniques taught in this interview course and they worked every time.

I think I’ve gone on long enough  for today.  These topics might keep me busy for a lifetime. I hope so.  I also hope they will be interesting to readers and we can have an ongoing conversation here about various subjects.

About Detective Estes

Detective EstesMr. Estes has lived in the DC Metropolitan area for most of his life. His father’s influence and expertise in firearms resulted in Mr. Estes beginning to rifle shoot at a young age and eventually shooting on the Washington-Lee High School rifle team in Arlington, VA.

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