Just to avoid being accused of click baiting, there is nothing overly exciting here. This was just my first interaction with law enforcement while carrying.
Last night the roads were extremely icy and due to circumstances beyond my control, my truck ended up in the ditch buried in a snow bank.
After a while an Illinois State Trooper pulled up to check on us. He walked down the bank toward the truck.
Right when I saw the officer pull up, the first thing I did was get out my Illinois CCL to have it ready. In class we discuss the various ways to interact with the police and when a carrier is supposed to disclose that a firearm is on or about their person. Personally, I prefer the up front approach. Others may prefer to wait for the officer to ask for that information, and that is their prerogative.
The officer came to my window, and I greeted him. I also said “Officer, in the interest of full disclosure…” and this point I handed over my CCL. The officer looked it over and handed it back. “Thank you, I really appreciate that” he said. He did not ask me to disclose the location of the firearm, but assumed it was on me. I then asked him how he would like to proceed.
At this point he said while looking at my truck “I have no idea”. He was referring to my truck, not really giving my firearm a second thought. Although I am sure he kept that but of information in the back of his mind.
The officer offered my wife and I a ride to our destination (not far away) and we abandoned the vehicle. Before exiting the officer told me to “bring my equipment with”. Obviously referring to the firearm. He didn’t want a firearm in an abandoned vehicle and I can understand why. My wife and I sat in the back of the police cruiser all the way to our destination.
For those of you who have never been in the back of a cruiser before, it is cramped, tiny, and they cannot move the seat up to give you more room. While we were riding along, the officer asked me “So, what do you carry?” I responded with “Glock 19″. He then said ” I have a few Glocks, but I’m more of a Sig Sauer person myself”. For the rest of the small trip, we talked about handguns and his experiences. When we arrived, I shook his hand and thanked him again. I gave him some business cards for my IDPA club and invited him out to shoot with us.
All in all it was an easy and pleasant experience! Looking back on it, the only thing I wished I had done differently is turn on my cabin light in the truck when he approached the window. That way the officer could see everything going on inside the cab.
The experience went about how I figured it would go: simple and with good conversation in between.
A big thank you to that officer and I hope his night was safe and sound!