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Revised Policy Allows Police To Carry Secondary Firearm



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Police Commission members have unanimously approved a policy revision that allows town police officers to carry a concealed firearm as a secondary weapon in the event they are unable to use their primary holstered firearm.

Commission members approved the policy change after a discussion on the topic with Police Chief James Viadero at a September 3 session.

Chief Viadero told commission members that there was a July incident at a bar in Sandy Hook in which a man involved in an altercation attempted to remove a police officer’s service pistol from its holster. In view of that incident, police requested that the commission modify the police firearms policy to allow police to carry a backup firearm.

The revised policy addresses the backup gun’s specifications and the requirement that it be concealed and contained in a holster. Also, the officer must demonstrate proficiency in the backup gun’s use at least once a year.

Chief Viadero told commission members that there is a varying level of interest among police officers in carrying a concealed secondary firearm. He termed the carrying of a second concealed firearm “a tactical awareness and officer safety issue.”

Early on the morning of July 27, police arrested a Sandy Hook man on seven charges, including three felonies, following a violent incident at the Cover Two Sports Cafe at 100 Church Hill Road in Sandy Hook Center.

Police said they received a call from the bar at 2:13 am, July 27, informing them of an unwanted patron who was refusing to leave the bar after it had closed for business.

A struggle then occurred between the man and two policemen, in which the man assaulted both officers. The man attempted to disarm one of the policemen by grabbing his service pistol from his belt during the fight, police said. As a primary firearm, town police carry a Glock 21, which is a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol.

Police said they used a taser electronic weapon and also used pepper spray to subdue the man and take him into custody. Two officers received minor injuries during the incident.

The man, who is free on bail, has pleaded not guilty to seven charges stemming from the incident and is awaiting trial.

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