Seahawks Stadium Bans Off-Duty Cops From Carrying Weapons at Events
CenturyLink Field, home to the Seattle Seahawks, has banned firearms from the stadium for public safety reasons; but this decision has local law-enforcement officers up in arms.
According to KOMOnews.com, management at CenturyLink has decided that off-duty officers attending the stadium as fans will no longer be permitted to bring their firearms through the gates.
Local officers expressed anger over the decision, saying that bringing their weapons to the stadium - and anywhere else - is part of protecting and serving the community, even if they are off-duty.
CenturyLink's general manager wrote a letter to law enforcement that said the decision is in the best interest of public safety.
Part of the letter read: "We currently have an abundance of uniformed police officers working every event at the stadium and we feel that CenturyLink Field is perhaps one of the safest venues."
But, Officer Erik Wickmanm said that the explanation doesn't sit well with him:
"The reality is you can have all the uniformed officers you want, but the criminals will be able to identify them and avoid the areas where they are," he said.
The president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild said that the policy is "misguided" and "insulting."
KOMOnews points out that many officers work in units that require them to be armed at all times, and that some officers are concerned that they're recognizable and could be vulnerable during games.
The change in policy comes after two unarmed and off-duty Bellevue Police officers were removed from the stadium last season for unruly behavior.
CNSNews.com contacted CenturyLink Field for a statement about the policy change but calls were not returned by the time of this post.