It’s Better to Have It And Not Need It
As a newer officer, many of my co-workers have poked fun at me over the amount of gear I carry on my belt. My response is always simple; it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. I have finally gotten my belt configuration to where I need it to be; comfortable and effective.
The belt buckle is at the 12 o’clock position. Starting from the left to the right::
~Mag pouch at the 11 o’clock position
~ASP Baton at 10 o’clock
~Radio at 9 o’clock (Behind my radio I keep a KaBar TDI knife)
~Handcuffs at 8 o’clock
~Nothing at 7 o’clock
~Rubber glove pouch at 6 o’clock/small of the back
~Nothing at 5 o’clock
~Streamlight Strion flashlight at 4 o’clock (backup flashlight)
~Gun at 3 o’clock
~Handcuffs at 2 o’clock
~Extra TASER cartridges at 1 o’clock
Notice there are a few things missing, like the TASER, OC, etc. This is because we are authorized to wear external vest carriers with integrated pouches. My vest carrier has a pouch for the TASER, OC Spray, and for my main flashlight, the Streamlight Polystinger.
Currently, I enjoy this setup because of its functionality. I would like to change the orientation of the pouches on my vest carrier, as the TASER is crossdraw and at an angle on the left side of the vest. My flashlight and OC are on the right side, and since my right hand is my primary weapon hand, I would rather have these items mounted on the left for easy access with my support hand. If my TASER pouch was mounted vertically, I would have room to also have my flashlight on the left side. I will be ordering a new vest carrier in the near future for added functionality, but for now this will work.
Many officers I work with don’t carry the ASP or extra TASER cartridges at all, but I prefer to have every available advantage at my fingertips. Recently, two officers I work with were involved in incidents in which a TASER was deployed but the cartridge malfunctioned. The officers did not have extra cartridges on their person. For this reason, I made the decision to carry the extra cartridges. Additionally, I also carry a 4th magazine in the pocket of my vest carrier and a 5th magazine in my patrol bag. Hopefully I never need to use them, but it’s nice to know they’re available, just in case.
While this set-up may seem extraneous to some, it works for me. I like to be prepared, and my set-up still allows me comfort while running, climbing, sitting in the car, etc.
This is in no way suggesting that this particular set-up is recommended for usage by everyone. This is what works for me. I have trained with this and am comfortable with it. Muscle memory has been developed, and my comfort level is acceptable.
What works for you?
Daniel is a rookie officer, learning the tools of the trade from some of the finest men and women my city has to offer.