- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 12, 2015

A pair of off-duty police officers were forced to leave a country music concert in Louisville, Kentucky, because they would not remove their weapons.

The officers said they were abiding by department policy by keeping their weapons on them. They were told they could disarm or leave, and they left, a local NBC affiliate reported.

The officers were planning to attend the Live Nation concert at the Louisville Palace on Wednesday night, which featured some of country music’s biggest names including Chris Stapleton and Trace Adkins.

The officers were at the show with their wives or girlfriends, according to NBC, and were excited to see the show.

Witnesses said the officers were asked to disarm, but Louisville Metro Police Department standard operating procedure requires officers to carry a weapon at all times.

While within Jefferson County, an officer must carry an approved pistol of .380 caliber or larger. The reason being, if officers are needed in a situation where a crime is happening, they can help,” the policy states, NBC reported.

They did the right thing,” said Dave Mutchler with the Fraternal Order of Police. “They actually let the folks there know, we are police officers.”

The wife of one of the police officers wrote about the incident on Facebook saying, “He took an oath to serve and protect. I am appalled that a nationwide company has decided that off-duty officers aren’t allowed to do their sworn job. Sick just sick.”

Police Chief Steve Conrad on Thursday said he was surprised to learn that the officers were denied entry, given current events.

“Given today’s climate, we would think most businesses would welcome armed and well-trained police officers, on and off-duty, to help out should there be a problem,” he said, NBC reported.

Mr. Conrad added he’s hopeful the LMPD can work with the Louisville Palace to resolve the situation.

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