Detective John Roe started off as a police trainee and it took him two years — from 1968 to 1970 — to become a sworn police officer. Now, a mandatory retirement age (63, which he reaches October 31) will send him home, retired. His last day is October 26th, and he doesn’t quite know what he’ll do.
In the last 44 years he’s caught some thousand bad guys, and it’s not only his vocation, it’s his only hobby.
Roe is one of the last few hundred cops on the large (over 35,000 sworn officers) department to carry a revolver, a practice which is fading with his generation. Like most cops, he’s never needed to fire his main or backup gun, except for qualification.
He admits he’s somewhat of a “dinosaur”: He doesn’t carry a standard-issue 9 mm Glock semiautomatic but, along with about 300 colleagues, relies on an old-time “six-shooter” — a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson Model 10.
He also keeps a five-shot Smith & Wesson strapped to his ankle.
His is one of the families that marbles the NYPD through and through: his brother put in 37 years and retired as a captain, his father was a cop, and so were other relatives.
He’s planning to take a lot of cruises to take the edge off his retired boredom. Is there a TV show based on that premise, or what? Still, it couldn’t be a reality show: given the lack of serious crime on cruises, his Big-Apple-honed investigative skills are overmatch for public drunkenness or the occasional thieving steward.
One wonders who the other 300 wheelgun holdouts are, but they’re probably also “dinosaurs” like Roe. Yet there’s nothing wrong with a revolver, if you can hit with it. Not many serious social interactions (as opposed to IPSC stages or SFAUC practical exercises) take more than five well-aimed hits to bring to a happy conclusion. Sure, arm yourselves for the Zombie Apocalypse, but train like you’re going to solve an assailant problem with one fatal shot per assailant — and you will.
Kevin was a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S). His focus was on weapons: their history, effects and employment. He started WeaponsMan.com in 2011 and operated it until he passed away in 2017. His work is being preserved here at the request of his family.