Police officers patrol cities and counties around the world.
They work along streets, in the air, and not surprisingly, often under cover. Police officers put themselves in harm’s way for the well being of others, and they are often the target of criminals.
However, the right police officer equipment can help minimize the risk.
The term “police officer equipment” can cover a range of different items as well – far more than you might otherwise realize at first.
As a matter of fact, an officer carries a piece of equipment to suit just about any purpose or function. Here are just a few examples of police gear every law enforcement professional needs to protect his or her well being:
Essential Police Officer Equipment
1. Bullet Proof Vest
A bullet proof vest is quite possibly one of the most important accessories for a serious police officer.
A bullet proof vest goes over the entire upper body from your waist to your shoulders. Wearing one ensures that bullets cannot enter into the skin or pierce vital organs, such as the heart.
Bullet proof vests are typically worn under the officer’s uniform and cannot be seen by the naked eye. Once an officer is wearing a bullet proof vest, he or she puts on his or her typical uniform and puts on a police cap.
If you’re an undercover cop, the vest will be less obvious. Working undercover often means wearing clothes like everybody else. Even so, a police officer will need a bulletproof vest to stay protected from harm. Bullet proof vests are all different from one another.
You will never find one that is the same. Oftentimes, a vest is specific to a city’s entire police force. Still, other police officers are able to pick out a vest of their own.
One of the most popular and effective bullet proof vests is one that zips up the front. The zipper becomes transparent under the officer’s uniform, and is for the most part undetectable. However, some officers prefer a solid vest, one without buttons or zippers.
What one chooses will depend on his or her needs and their area of expertise. An officer working on the street may need extra body armor, such as an armor jacket that covers the torso, chest and arms.
A police baton, also sometimes referred to as a truncheon, nightstick, or billystick, is a club that a police officer carries to in order to help protect himself when it comes to non-lethal self defence. In most cases, a police baton is about the length of an arm.
This particular piece of law enforcement gear can be made of a number of different materials including wood, plastic, metal, or firm rubber. In addition to officers, other law enforcement personnel also carry a baton such as security workers and night watchmen.
It is used to block, strike, or otherwise defend the officer or subdue and assailant in a non-lethal manner. A baton may come in especially handy when crowd control is necessary. It is also sometimes used in rescue situations, such as in regards to a burning building or automobile.
Handcuffs are restraining devices used to help secure and subdue an assailant, suspect, or individual in the case of arrest or the need for physical restriction.
As such, they constitute one of the most important kinds of police officer equipment.
They are made up of two cuffs that are linked to one another by a strong chain, bar, or hinge. Each one of the cuffs that make up a set of handcuffs employs a special ratchet that prevents it from opening once the officer secures it around the arrestee’s wrists.
This is done both to ensure the safety of the officer and to help prevent the suspect from escaping police custody.
Although most handcuffs are made of steel or other strong metal, there are variations that are made of other materials. For instance there is a plastic variation of this type of police officer equipment – also sometimes known as riot cuffs or wrist ties.
There are also cuffs made to fit around the ankles and legs that are sometimes used instead of or in tandem with the handcuffs.
4. Stun Gun
A police stun gun or taser is an electroshock apparatus that shoots an electric current into one’s body and leaves them incapacitated. A stun gun causes involuntary muscle movements and twitches. Shooting someone with a stun gun ensures that the individual will not be able to harm you physically.
A stun gun stimulates motor and sensory nerves in the body, and can produce a physical reaction that is similar to that of an epileptic seizure. A stun gun is a small hand held weapon that is touched to one’s body to work.
The stun gun, when fired, disperses 85,000 to 625,000 volts of electricity. Once the attacker is struck by a stun gun, he or she loses their thoughts and physical actions.
When one is struck by a stun gun, he or she will remain incapacitated anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Rubber Bullets
Rubber bullets are projectiles that are either made entirely of rubber or simply coated with rubber. They are made to be fired either from a standard firearm or else from a specialized riot gun designed for crowd control.
Like stun guns or pepper spray, rubber bullets are a type of police officer equipment used to help subdue crowds and keep riot situations from getting too far out of control by causing pain or minor injury (such as contusion or painful abrasion), as opposed to serious injury or death.
They are also commonly used for purposes such as animal control and short range practice.
Occasionally, an officer might carry an alternative to rubber bullets thanks to rubber’s tendency to bounce out of control. These alternative bullets may be made of wax, wood, or plastic most commonly.
6. Pepper Spray
Pepper spray has long been a reliable weapon used by many people. It is quite effective in stopping attackers from doing harm and is an essential piece of police officer equipment. When activated, pepper spray completely blinds a person and keeps them that way for about 15 minutes.
When an officer uses pepper spray on an assailant, they are blind long enough for the officer to get them cuffed or restrained. The person who was sprayed has almost completely disabled at this point. He or she can’t see and can be restrained to the point that they cannot fight the officers and are then taken into custody.
No collection of police officer equipment would be complete without a firearm. While an officer will usually pull his or her firearm as a last result, it is nevertheless necessary for each officer to carry one in order to protect himself and the community from harm in the event there is no other way to stop a suspect.
In most cases, police prefer to use non-lethal methods to uphold the piece.
The type of firearm a given officer may carry as part of their collection of police officer equipment may vary, but a few necessary points apply. The gun must be reliable and capable of functioning in harsh environments. This includes ability to withstand extreme temperatures (either hot or cold), as well as ability to function even if it gets wet or muddy.
The most commonly used firearms among officers fit these requirements (the Glock 22 40-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol is a very popular option, for example).
The officer’s firearm is carried and secured by way of a special holster made of nylon or leather that also allows for easy access should the officer need to use it for any reason.
Here’s an good article about picking up the right pistol.
Police officers and other law enforcement personnel also typically carry a flashlight in order to enable them to see in the dark and protect themselves from the unseen at night.
This type of police officer equipment comes in handy in a number of different situations, but it is most often used during routine traffic stops, while on patrol, and possibly also during confrontations.
An officer’s flashlight can also double as a weapon in lieu of other types of police officer equipment. It can be used to blind and assailant or suspect. It can also be used as a last means of defence in a bludgeoning manner should a particular suspect decide to attack or rush an officer before he has a chance to get hold of another means of defence.
9. Duty Belt
As your typical officer does need to be able to carry a lot of police officer equipment to ensure that he is covered no matter what his job may throw at him, most officers carry a duty belt to help organize it and keep it secure while providing easy access.
Most duty belts are constructed from a durable material such as nylon or leather to make sure it holds up and properly protects the police officer equipment it holds.
The duty belt allows the officer to keep everything he or she needs close at hand while still leaving their hands completely free to interact with his environment or with a suspect. It is also commonly known as a gun belt or a kit belt.
If you or someone you love is a police officer, you know the importance of police officer equipment. When used properly, it can save your life.