Off-duty cops want right to carry guns at NFL games

- There's a controversy brewing in the Lions den. The NFL has a policy in place to prevent off-duty officers from carrying their weapons at Lions games. But the city's police union says they need to change that, now.

Detroit Police Officer's Association President Mark Diaz says there's safety in numbers. He said it's all about having a few extra armed men and women to protect themselves and that's why a letter is being written to urge the NFL to revise its policy.

The NFL has said that security is stronger when stadium officials know which officers are working. however, Diaz says armed off-duty cops can only benefit publish safety, if they're needed.

"We have absolutely no problem identifying ourselves to the security person that we are there and are armed. I think it's appropriate," Diaz said. "But the concept of banning police officers from carrying a firearm into the arenas where social gatherings are held is absolutely upsurd. The policy definitely has to be revisited."

There are concerns, of course. During the Lions annual Thanksgiving Day game, peaceful animal rights protesters ran onto the field. Even though nothing happened, Diaz said this only helps his argument.

"What if. Although it may be a peaceful demonstration, there's no indication if it was not a peaceful demonstration. Unfortunately, I will say we had several police officers here who were here off duty. Those officers were not armed."

The DPOA and other police unions in Detroit are joining other law enforcement agencies nationwide to address concerns with the NFL.

Diaz doesn't want the public to be alarmed and said security won't be a problem for Thursday night's game against Green Bay.

"Let's be clear that security is heightened, but there's safety in numbers and if an officer can't take action whether on duty or off, we need that officer to take action," Diaz said.

FOX 2 has reached out to the NFL for comment but they have not responded to our media request.

Diaz said the letter is going out Tuesday. He also said law enforcement will keep getting the NFL's attention but would not elaborate as to what those plans include.

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