There is no easy way to say this, but when you were issued a badge it did not come with some special cloaking features. You still have to work to conceal it otherwise why even bother.
This may sting a bit
I’m not going to tiptoe around the subject, but there is a degree of laziness and a little bit of entitlement in some. That may sting a bit, but the bad habits this type of mentality creates will be just that habits. You take them with you off duty with your family and personal safety at risk. The first thing we need to do is create the environment where this is discouraged. If your partner does a lousy job of concealing, then by proxy so do you. In other words, you are guilty by association. Granted there are a few who do not receive any concealed carry training, they learn on the job in a sense, that will hopefully be changed with more classes we direct specifically at law enforcement. That leads to hopefully more exposure and particularly as it relates to gear.
The “Off-Duty” class we did at this year’s TTPOA Conference helped educate many folks and here are the follow up lessons for those who couldn’t attend and it starts with handgun selection. Here, bigger isn’t always better. My suggestion is a compact pistol with a magazine capacity of at least 10 rounds. This should give the user a decent load out they can truly conceal. Keep it simple, if you can go with the little brother from your duty handgun that would be ideal. It makes for a less steep learning curve, about the only big difference you might notice is recoil management. That is something you can improve with training, which is also the next point.
You have probably spent the majority of your career working from your duty rig. You will need to invest some time and resources into working with the different equipment for one and the fact you are coming from concealed. It’s not just as simple as throwing a jacket over your gun and badge. You’ve got to develop a change to your lifestyle, how you dress and the clothes you choose. It’s not rocket science and truthfully you don’t want to do anything special. Don’t get custom or “made for” types of clothing. You don’t have to make a fashion statement per say, just find clothes that help break up, blend and are comfortable. Then, once you find something you like, go back and buy more.
The last thing is the big one, invest in a quality concealment holster. You shouldn’t have to invest more than $100 for a decent one. Now the hard part is finding one you really like. Please review previous blogs on holster selection criterion and don’t feel forced to go with what everyone else goes with since they probably are in the same boat as you. A common response I heard from class was it “sounded or looked good” until they had to use it in a serious manner. There are plenty of good choices and you may have to pay for a few before you find that good fit. Even then, having at least a backup holster for different circumstances is a good idea. Don’t be shy, ask to borrow some from friends and coworkers to feel them out first before you buy.
I’m excited to see the interest in concealed carry, it’s a huge step in the right direction as a country. Like anything it’s a learned skill and will take time and effort on your part.