Head of NY Homeland Security uses gun as laser pointer, attendees duck for cover

Jerome Hauer
Photo Credit Paul Buckowski / Times Union

When in the middle of a presentation and finding oneself in need of a laser pointer, what is a person to do?

If you are Jerome M. Hauer, the director of Homeland Security for the state of New York, you pull out your handgun and use the laser sighting device that’s attached to the barrel as a pointer.

Even as attendees make a mad dash to get out of the line of fire.

According to several public officials, including one who claimed to witness the incident, Hauer allegedly did just that while speaking at the highly secure state emergency operations center in Albany on Oct. 24, the Albany Times-Union reported.

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Three Swedish emergency managers attending the presentation were rattled when the gun’s laser tracked across one of their heads as Hauer located the map of New York that he wanted to point at, according to the eyewitness.

An eyewitness also said that two people opposite Hauer at the table moved quickly out of the line of the laser when he brought out the gun, according to the report.

The Times-Union further reported:

Hauer, commissioner of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, was disabled by a stroke a few years ago and can be unsteady.

He isn’t a law enforcement official. He carries the loaded 9-millimeter Glock in a holster into state buildings, an apparent violation of state law barring state employees from bringing weapons to the workplace, several witnesses say.

The Times-Union said that when asked about the incident, the press aide for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised to look into it but has repeatedly had no comment since.

What happened that day? “Your guess is as good as mine,” said Hauer’s communications officer, Peter Cutler. “I don’t have any information on that.”

Cutler said Hauer is licensed to carry a gun in Albany and in New York City, but there is a state law which prohibits employees from entering state buildings with weapons.

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Tom Tillison

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