List of Equipment Police Officers Use in the Line of Duty

Police officer equipment
Learn about police officer equipment used in the line of duty.

List of Police Officer Equipment

Police officers are everyday heroes who sacrifice their lives on a daily basis. Police officers work in a collective effort to ensure serve and protect citizens. A career in law enforcement isn’t easy, and police work is filled with rigorous physical and emotional demands. Preparation and training is top priority for a police officer and the right police officer equipment is critical.

Officers in police departments throughout the United States must be fitted with standard equipment to help protect themselves and citizens against any and all encounters they may encounter. The following list of police officer equipment represents the items that officers may carry while on duty. The items may be physically carried, fastened to a utility belt, or stored in the police vehicle. See List of Police Vehicle types for more information. It is important to note that officers do not carry all of these items at the same time.


Police officers may carry a supply of extra ammunition in case they need to reload their firearm. The ammunition can be stored on the duty belt or in a magazine pouch.

Baton (Nightstick)

One of the oldest items of police equipment, the baton is generally used to disperse and control crowds of people on the cusp of riot. Batons also come in handy in protection against unarmed, through aggressive people. In addition, batons are often used to break down windows and doors to free or rescue trapped victims in dangerous situations.

Body Cameras

Although they are not part of the standard police uniform, police body cameras are becoming much more popular these days. Law enforcement departments that have begun using the devices found a substantial decrease in complaints about police behavior.

Standard equipment may vary from department to department based on specific needs, but these items cover the basics.

Bulletproof vest

A majority of police officers prefer to use a soft bulletproof vest as part of their equipment as they are less noticeable. This armored vest can protect an officer against attacks with weapons such as knives, pistols, rifles, small explosives and the like.


Although drones are not considered part of the standard equipment worn by officers, they are becoming much more popular with departments across the nation. They can be used to track suspects, search for missing persons, survey a damaged area and much more. Learn more about Police Drones.

Duty Belt

The duty belt makes equipment easy to carry and readily accessible. They are typically made of either leather or nylon and are usually black in color. The police duty belt is also known as a gun belt or kit belt.


While it isn’t a mandate, most officers choose to carry a flashlight with them at all times. Some officers opt for large, heavy models that work well as self-defense tool. Others choose small yet with incredibly bright beams like Fenix and Surefire lights that shine over 200 lumens and work great at night. Check out the MagLite ST3D016 3-D Cell LED Flashlight, Black at

Pistol or Firearm

Law enforcement officials face many potentially dangerous situations on any given day. Although they are rarely used, the pistol or firearm is an essential element of the police outfit. The Glock handgun is the preferred weapon of choice of most on-duty police officers. Alternatively, a police officer may choose from a variety of over 20 different types of pistols with models like the 10mm, 9mm, .45cal, and .40cal form the list. While the .40 caliber is most often firearm of choice, an officer may choose any type or model of pistol.


Police handcuffs are probably the most used item in their equipment arsenal. Handcuffs are highly effective to keep the suspect under control and prevent them from causing harm to their person, or those around them. Most officer carry around 2-3 pairs so that they can capture and detain more than one perpetrator.

Handgun Holster

The handgun holster is designed to carry a firearm in a convenient place. The holster is most often attached to a utility belt, but may also be attached around the upper torso or even the leg. Holsters can be made of leather, nylon or plastic.


Radios are used by most departments to facilitate communication with dispatch and other officers. The radios are usually attached to the utility belt and are often held with a radio pouch. However, some departments attach the radio to the shoulder area to make it easier for the officer to use. Ten codes are used to help expedite communication.


Almost every police car is equipped with a standard 12 gauge shotgun, which is used during dangerous encounters with armed criminals. Buck shots are used in the shotgun’s magazine, which are the best option for close range shooting and combat. Most officers carry additional ammunition on their equipment belt. A shootout situation that occurs at over 20 yards will most likely call for use of the shotgun. Police officers have the option to carry a shotgun that shoots bean bags, a non-deadly weapon that is typically used in riot or crowd control situations.


A fairly new addition to the list of police equipment, TASER® guns work more effectively when neutralizing a suspect without causing excessive physical harm. On average, TASER guns can travel about 15 feet to latch on to the suspect through layers of clothing and inflict over 50,000 volts of electric current. Enough to leave the suspect temporarily incapacitated allowing the officer opportunity to make the arrest.

If you have any questions about police officer equipment, please leave a comment below. View more Spy Gadgets.


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