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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Backup and then some...

A few years ago Police.com was kind enough to publish an article on equipment cops should carry on the street. Recently I found another article in PolceOne on a similar vane. While mine was more of what to have, his is more to have more and more of it. Here is the summary with my comments:
Why two is better than one

Just as officers should always have a backup plan, they should always have backup gear

Marty Katz
Past the Uniform

Policing is about being prepared to survive in an unpredictable environment.Many times when a crisis occurs, an officer is alone. Knowledge is part of being able to survive until help arrives, as is having the right equipment at hand. When it comes to gear, here are 10 examples of when two is better than one:

1. Every officer should carry a primary weapon and a backup weapon (if department policy permits), hence two firearms...
And more bullets than you think you need.
2. Every officer should have at least two flashlights available.....
I have two myself, one on the epaulette. That way I can write things down and not fumble with a light.
3. Always carry two sets of handcuffs. Many times more than one person is arrested during the same incident...
And perhaps some plastic ties in the car bag.
4. I recommend carrying two wallets and leaving both in the patrol vehicle. Officers should have one wallet for your police credentials and one for everything else. There is never a need to flash your badge when buying groceries.
Never thought of it before, but that's a good idea.
5. If an officer wears eyeglasses or contacts, a second pair of glasses must be available. In the FBI shootout in Miami in 1986, one agent lost his eyeglasses, and this caused a suspect identification problem.
And being able to shoot when you need to.
6. Taking notes, writing reports and issuing citations all take lots of ink. Keep a second pen nearby.
Actually, three. And two things to write on.
7. Policing is a dangerous business so I recommend carrying two knives so either hand can reach one when needed. Also, it is essential to be able to open the knives with one hand.
Kinda there, I carry a lock back knife in my right cargo pocket. I also carry a Leatherman and a Swiss Army knife, so I always more than one blade available.
8. Officers should carry two handcuff keys – one to be used regularly and one hidden. The hidden key is in case an officer is taken hostage.
Excellent idea on the second one.
9. There is always a need to have two sets of police vehicle keys. Sometimes the vehicle must be left running and the officer is outside of the car.
I was chasing a suspect once, he was fast, he doubled back and got into my car. Fortunately he didn't drive off when I pulled my gun on him, we got him into custody. Since then, in direct violation of my agency's police, I've carried two copies of my car key.
10. Keep a second set of uniform or plainclothes available. There are occasions when an officer might need plainclothes for a quick operation. There is also a need for a second uniform as many things can happen to the uniform the officer is wearing.
Also, underwear, socks, and shower bag. You can get funky quick, and you may need to stay at the station for days.

Good advise for officers on the Thin Blue Line.

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