We have all been there! Just got on the job and super exited about that gun belt and all of the “tools” of the trade. Interestingly enough, during this time, most of us fall into that trap of wanting more! You know, your agency issues a handcuff case, but you go out and purchase another. So, how much is too much? Here are some things to think about that may help you “weigh” your options.
For starters, it’s understood that not every agency provides the same equipment to Officers/Deputies and we all don’t share the same measurements around the belt line. However, what we do share is the basic list of equipment that we sometimes willingly decide to remove for something else.
Of course, not every law enforcement job is the same. We are in fact extremely versatile by nature and require different tools for different jobs. As time goes on and we become more “savvy” of our roles and abilities, we start to take a closer look at what we have carrying around for such a long time.
One of the very first things considered is usually comfort. We all know that wearing that gun belt for long periods of time can become very uncomfortable and needless to say one of the top contributors to an unhealthy back. So, we start the “musical gun belt game”. ”Humm, I’ll move this pouch here and then move this pouch there…”. Eventually, you end up making minor adjustments or (this most of us can admit), we just put everything right back where it was.
Hopefully, as time goes on we find that combination that works. What we should really be careful with is making a willful decision in removing equipment that is required to perform your job safely and legally. So, how do we determine what will work? Safely and legally! Regardless of the specific equipment carried, you have to give yourself options in order to satisfy the safe as well as the legal aspects. Don’t find yourself being scrutinized because you used unreasonable force, due to you decision to not carry an additional option.
Unfortunately, what happens is an intermediate weapon is replaced with a cell phone. I know, I know…..it’s unfortunate that we can’t operate without them, and the market has created some really cool holsters for them. However may I suggest putting your cell phone on vibrate mode and in a pocket. Consider removing that third or fourth handcuff case from your spinal area before a less lethal/intermediate weapon.
Makes sense? Express yourself! After all, it is up to all of us to take care of one another.
Written and Submitted by Deputy Rafael Navarro