Welcome to the community. I have a DE 50, fun to shoot but never took it anywhere except the range. A quality 1911 is a easy choice but if your looking for a polly frame check out the S&W M&P. Most if not all PD's will issues officers a carry firearm and will give an approved list of off duty carry pistols. The M&P will be on that list.
Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~ Thomas Jefferson
Originally Posted by Benning Boy
If you're really bored, I'm your huckleberry. If you really want a challenge, I'm the one.
If you're really smart, you'll just peddle your paint.
Hemi - this is really a personal choice, start by eliminating the ones that are too expensive, next look at availability of ammo, then search the manufactures for the different models and see what is offered out there, then go out a buy an FNH FNP-40, made in the USA, affordable, reliable and accurate.
My first suggestion is also to check with local PD and see if they require you carry a specific gun, if you can carry your own, or both. My future is also in LE. As far as an American gun, I would suggest the Smith&Wesson M&P .45. I bought one today and love it ot death. It is my first gun ever, and including today, have only shot a handgun twice. It is easy to take apart and very user friendly. The best way to pick one is go into a shop and hold them, feel them up and see what you think. Here is my thread about it: http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f14/new-gun-19912/