In what may be the largest adoption of red dot sights on pistols to date, the Houston Police Department has issued a letter to sworn officers approving the optics for duty use. The approval comes along with some common-sense caveats; a Safariland level III Holster must be used, optics-ready pistols from specified manufacturers and the completion of an eight hour training course prior to putting the RDS into service.
Along with the details of the approved manufacturers comes an important stipulation: milled slides are not allowed. Personnel must buy a factory-ready gun capable of accepting red dot sights. In addition, officers must have back up iron sights installed either in the form of suppressor height sights or the Leupold’s rear sight attachment.
The move towards the use of micro red dot sights by military and law enforcement has been gaining steam in the past few years with special teams and units being allowed to field the technology on a more case-by-case process. With more than 5,000 officers on staff Houston PD is set to take the lead on electronic sight use in U.S. law enforcement.
The resulting data from required qualifications (scores using a red dot versus irons), fielding (models, mechanical/electronic failures) battery life and other variables will be important to law enforcement and civilian shooters alike. Real-world field testing is invaluable when it comes to picking the best guns, sights, holsters and related gear. Let’s hope that Houston PD is willing to share sanitized data (hint: call me).
Houston PD: Pistol Red Dot Sights Approved For Duty Use
To all classified personnel:
The department has approved the use of Red Dot Sights (RDS) for pistols. In order for an officer to carry the RDS on their primary weapon they must meet the following requirements:
- Safariland Level III 6360RDS Holster with primary weapon with RDS.
- Manufactured weapon with slide cutout mount ready to accept RDS (i.e. Glock 17 MOS, Glock 19 MOS, Smith and Wesson M&P C.O.R.E., Sig Sauer Rx line)
- Aftermarket milled slides are prohibited. Specialized units (i.e. SWAT and Narcotics) are exempt.
- Iron Sights are required (i.e. Suppressor Sights or Leupold Rear Sight attachment)
Red Dot System must be one of the following :
Complete an 8 hour training course and qualify with their weapon using the RDS prior to carrying the weapon.
Classes will commence in September 2018.
Shooting medals will NOT be awarded for RDS weapons.
All RDS systems and holster will be purchased by the individual officer. Reimbursement requests will not be authorized.