Retired police officer John S. (not his real name) took some time to talk to us about gear, civilians, and tactical suppliers. The following are lessons we gleaned from our conversation.
“What’s the most important gear you carried?”
“Other than my sidearm, one of the most useful tools I carried was my flashlight.” John’s department issued 6-inch flashlights mounted to the bottom of the gun and housed in specially made holsters. This attachment feature allowed officers to hold the weapon and see where they were going with one hand while still having the other hand free for cuffing or maneuverability. The brightness of the flashlight provided additional capabilities when searching buildings or a car, but primarily the lights were used to let subjects know where the officers were, according to John.
The second tool John considered imperative was a trauma kit carried on the officer’s belt. The kits aren’t mandatory (yet) but provide basic tools to stop bleeding in the field. John was quick to mention the value of the kits to serve fellow officers who have been wounded as well as subjects who may have been shot. It consists of a tourniquet and/or a special powder that, when poured into a wound, helps to stop bleeding. These tools are only intended to be temporary solutions until medics arrive on the scene, but they have life-saving implications.
Thirdly, John talked about the value of carrying a taser. “When you draw a taser, it lets suspects know you mean business.”
Recommendations for Civilians
The taser discussion led to some interesting observations and recommendations for civilians, specifically in terms of self-defense. For those not wishing to carry a concealed handgun, defense options tend to be limited to pepper spray or a taser. There are a couple of downsides to pepper spray that made John recommend joggers or ladies carry a taser instead. Pepper spray isn’t effective on everyone, for starters. Perhaps more importantly, pepper spray compromises your abilities as well as the assailant’s. Because it’s an airborne defense, there’s a good chance you’ll suffer the effects of the pepper spray as much as the assailant will. A taser doesn’t carry the same risks, yet it’s still non-lethal.
Tactical Gear Suppliers
John was unfortunate enough to work with a tactical supplier other than M-Pak. As a result, he was forced to deal with ridiculous turnaround times. “If I wanted a winter coat, I’d have to order it in the summer to get it in time.”
In addition to the winter coat scenario, John brought up the dilemma officers face when they’re not able to get replacement uniform pieces in a reasonable amount of time. For example, if an officer is issued two pairs of pants and rips one jumping over a fence, he’s left with only one pair of pants. If that pair gets muddy early on during a shift, he has nothing to change into. Not only that, but who wants to do laundry everyday for six months while waiting on a replacement that should only take a week or two?
M-Pak values first responders because of the sacrifices they make for our protection. We also value them as customers enough to not make them wait for the essentials of their job. Check out our uniform pants.