The gear that law enforcement officers need is diverse just as there are many ways of doing their job. First, there’s the must-have equipment, and second is the necessary gear they carry during patrol. In other words, a police officer has essential tactical gear and common duty gear.

The tactical gear varies based on what your agency offers and your personal preferences based on where you’re assigned to work. The goal is to operate smoothly and deliver the best security.

This article will consider the top 12 essential tactical gear that every cop on the street should have.

12 Must-Have Police Equipment That Could Be Life-Saving

1. Tactical Boots

Tactical boots protect soldiers’ feet when walking through rugged terrains or chasing suspects. They form part of the essential police equipment that is designed and manufactured with the highest technical standards and durability. Police tactical boots are much different than normal boots. They are:

  • More reliable, 
  • Highly durable, 
  • Ergonomically designed, and 
  • Can sustain harsh conditions like SWAT missions, patrol, or in stations.

Remember that tactical boots are different from combat boots. Combat boots are heavier and mainly for situations that involve heavy wear and tear. Whereas tactical boots are thinner, lighter, and can assist with activities that involve a lot of movement.

2. Body Cameras

Police have recently adopted body cameras as part of police tactical gear to deal with cases of misconduct and malpractice. These devices help the law enforcement department collect data in the form of video or audio. 

They use the information when handling complaints about law enforcement officers’ behavior. That means police body cams collect data, which security officers use to protect themselves against claims of misconduct, false accusations, or abuse.

The use of this standard equipment varies from one agency to the other, but it’s slowly becoming part of the police uniform. This police gear is worn to increase the accountability and transparency of officers. It helps prevent confrontational situations between police and citizens.

3. Bulletproof Vest

Bulletproof vests are essential tactical gear that protects them against weapons such as rifles, pistols, knives, small explosives, etc. Also known as ballistic or bullet-resistant vests, security personnel wear them to protect themselves as they roam during criminal activities.

Most law enforcers prefer to wear a soft bulletproof vest because it’s less noticeable. They are flexible and breathable and can store ammunition and arms.

4. Tactical Police Handcuffs

Handcuffs are the most used law enforcement gear in the police equipment arsenal. They use this tactical gear to restrain the suspect and prevent them from escaping or harming the public around them.

You’re likely to see an officer carrying 2-3 pairs of handcuffs to detain more than one perpetrator. LA Police Gear offers a variety of handcuffs, from steel to aluminum, with differing levels of rigidity.

5. Baton/Mace

Over the years, law enforcement officers have used batons to control or disperse crowds, such as during riots. They also use this non-lethal equipment when dealing with unarmed, aggressive people. Batons are also used to break doors and windows to rescue or free trapped victims.

They also use Mace canisters to neutralize individuals. This tool causes the assailants to have temporary hindrances in breathing and visibility, thus allowing the cop to subdue them and make an arrest. Baton and mace are the best alternatives to lethal firearms to defend the officers and the public.

6. Duty Knife

 A police knife is far different from an ordinary knife.

  • The Blade: The police knife is easy to maintain because it has a serrated or partially serrated edge. It also stays sharper for an extended period and can cut fibrous material such as seat belts and ropes.
  • The Handle: The knife that can be clipped to a pocket, fits well on duty belts, and can be accessed conveniently.

At times, officers may carry different knives when performing various duties. For rescues police often use a blunt sheepsfoot blade because it can cut and remove clothing from people or seat belts without injuring the wearers.

Although cops use knives as a cutting tools, this weapon has several risks. Thus, some law enforcement personnel don’t carry knives during patrol.

7. Duty Belt

Police wear belts to help them carry equipment and make it readily accessible. Duty belts are made of either leather or nylon. This police gear is sometimes referred to as a kit or gun belt.

8. Antiseptic Wipes

First responders and police are exposed to several unsanitary/infected environments during their day-to-day activities. Hence, antiseptic wipes keep them away from contracting deadly diseases. 

Some of the illnesses an officer can get when they don’t take any protective measures include HIV, bloodborne hepatitis, herpes, flu, staph, and much more.

9. Tactical Gloves

LA Police Gear lists types of tactical gloves available based on their functionality:

  • Impact Protection Gloves
  • Cold weather Gloves
  • Shooting Gloves
  • Puncture protective gloves

Apart from these, the most commonly used are disposable rubber gloves to help with crime scenes. They help cops handle objects such as bullets, weapons, and other items. 

Police officers wear gloves when examining victims, and prevent hand contamination when handling hazardous chemicals. The rubber gloves are made of tough protective materials such as nitrile and latex, and thus are very strong and durable.

10. Tactical Flashlight

Tactical flashlights can do more than help officers search in the dark. Law enforcement and military sector professionals use tactical torches as a weapon if necessary. The bright light from these flashlights is enough to act as a distress signal to call for attention. They can also cause a temporary disturbance in the vision when aimed at the suspect directly.

Tactical torches are heavy and can also be used by officers to protect their necks and arms when under attack.

11. Police Drones

Police drones are now a popular law enforcement gear. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) help the national department search for missing persons, track suspects, carry out surveillance, perform rescue missions, access impossible-to-reach places, etc.

Law enforcers equip drones with different equipment, including:

  • Live feed cameras
  • Digital cameras
  • Low-visibility surveillance video
  • Daytime video recorders
  • Radar sensors
  • Radio equipment
  • GPS equipment
  • Thermal imaging
  • Laser scanners
  • Sound recorders
  • Infrared cameras

12. Patrol First Aid Kit

Usually, the first-aid kit is used when handling medical emergencies. Law enforcement officers carry them at all times, especially when undertaking high-risk activities. The first aid kit helps them treat life-threatening injuries and stop excessive bleeding.

This kit primarily contains:

  • Nitrile gloves
  • Tourniquets
  • Trauma dressings
  • Rolls of gauze

Bottom Line

The role of the police is dangerous, thus the need for them to wear police gear. These essential police gear serve a critical purpose. They make the job of a police officer easier by being multi-purpose and staying highly tactical. 

Tactical boots, body cameras, bulletproof vests, duty belts, and tactical gloves help police officers carry out their work without risking the safety and protection of themselves and the public.

The above-mentioned police gears keep them prepared and ready to handle their role effectively in multiple terrains. The tools help them collect data, control the crowd, restrain suspects, and rescue missions to protect the public against criminals. 

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