I was saddened when I got the message from Bill Allard’s son that his dad had passed away. I met Bill in the early 1970s, introduced by his friend and partner Jim Cirillo, whom I had met at a PPC match in Rhode Island. They worked on the famous NYPD Stakeout Unit. I was able to spend a few days with the unit, going on stakeout and interviewing several members including then-acting commander Joe Volpato, for an article that appeared in Man’s magazine. Jim and Bill became lifelong friends. We lost Jim more than a decade ago in a tragic auto accident.
Allard led the unit in the number of gunfights won and violent gunmen killed in the line of duty. He was a strong advocate of using the front sight and carefully aiming even when under fire, and did so in all but one of his shootings. He never fired a shot that missed his opponent, and never lost a gun battle. “I remember the seven ridges on the front sight of my 1911,” he said, speaking of actual shootings. The department had given him special permission to carry that .45 auto, his favorite sidearm through the end of his life. He emphasizes that it was skill at arms that he developed off The Job on his own time that accounted for his amazing hit ratio in actual combat. Bill won national championships and was a strong advocate of competitive shooting experience as an enhancement of gunfight survival capability.
You can read about his adventures in “Guns, Bullets, and Gunfighting” by Jim Cirillo and “Jim Cirillo and Tales of the Stakeout Squad” by Paul Kirschner, both available on Amazon. You can also hear my interview with him on the ProArms Podcast. Our discussion of his gunfight experience begins about 28 minutes in.
Like it or not, the police are society’s gunfighters. Even the people who want to ban your possession of “high capacity” Glocks and AR15s say that if you’re in trouble, you should call the cops – who will likely arrive with Glocks and AR15s. Men like Bill Allard and Jim Cirillo were exemplars of the guardians who face death to protect and serve.
RIP, brother Bill.