List of Police Officer Equipment
Police officers are everyday heroes who sacrifice their lives daily. Police officers work in a collective effort to ensure serving and protecting citizens. A career in law enforcement isn’t easy, and police work is filled with rigorous physical and emotional demands. Preparation and training are top priorities 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 dangers they may encounter. The following list of police officer equipment represents the items officers may carry while on duty. The items may be physically carried, fastened to a utility belt, or stored in the police vehicle. See the list of Police Vehicle types for more information. It is important to note that officers do not carry all of these items simultaneously.
Police officers may carry extra ammunition if they need to reload their firearms. The ammunition can be stored on the duty belt or in a magazine pouch. In addition, extra rounds of ammunition may be stored in the patrol vehicle.
Although not part of the standard police uniform, police body cameras are becoming more popular. 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.
Most 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 knives, pistols, rifles, small explosives, and the like.
Although drones are not considered part of the standard equipment officers wear, they are becoming more popular with national departments. They can track suspects, search for missing persons, survey a damaged area, and more. Learn more about Police Drones.
The duty belt makes the equipment easy to carry and readily accessible. They are typically made of either leather or nylon and are usually black. The police duty belt is also known as a gun or kit belt.
While it isn’t a mandate, most officers always carry a flashlight. Some officers opt for large, heavy models that work well as self-defense tools. Others choose small flashlights with incredibly bright beams. For example, the Fenix and Surefire lights shine over 200 lumens and work great at night. Check out the MagLite ST3D016 3-D Cell LED Flashlight, Black, at Amazon.com.
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Police handcuffs are probably the most used item in their equipment arsenal. Handcuffs are highly effective in controlling the suspect and preventing them from causing harm to their person or those around them. Most officers carry around 2-3 pairs to capture and detain more than one perpetrator.
The handgun holster is designed to carry a firearm in a convenient place. The holster is often attached to a utility belt but may also be around the upper torso or the leg. Holsters can be made of leather, nylon, or plastic.
Many cops keep one or more rubber gloves in their patrol cars. The gloves are essential when handling crime scene evidence, such as weapons, bullets, and other items. This keeps the officer’s prints off of the items. In addition, officers wear rubber gloves when examining victims.
Most departments use radios 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.
Uniforms vary widely by jurisdiction, law enforcement unit, and type of work performed. For example, they may vary in color. However, most uniforms are either blue or black.
Following is a list of police weapons that may be carried in the line of duty. The officer can carry the items or store them in their squad car.
One of the oldest items of police equipment, the baton, is generally used to disperse and control crowds of people on the cusp of a riot. Batons also come in handy in protection against unarmed, aggressive people. In addition, batons are often used to break windows and doors to free or rescue trapped victims in dangerous situations.
Knives can be used as a self-defense weapon or as a cutting tool. If someone is trapped in a vehicle, a knife can cut a person free of restraint, such as a rope or a seat belt. It is important to note that not all cops carry knives due to the risk factors involved.
Mace / Pepper Spray
Officers may carry a mace or pepper spray canister to help neutralize individuals. The spray makes it difficult for the assailant to see and breathe, which gives officers time to subdue the individual and make an arrest.
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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 essential to the police outfit. The Glock handgun is the preferred weapon for most on-duty police officers. Alternatively, a police officer may choose from over 20 different types of pistols with models like 10mm, 9mm, .45cal, and .40cal from the list. While the .40 caliber is most often a firearm of choice, an officer may choose any type or model of pistol.
Almost every police car is equipped with a standard 12 gauge shotgun, used during dangerous encounters with armed criminals. Buck shots are used in the shotgun’s magazine, the best option for close-range shooting and combat. Most officers carry additional ammunition on their equipment belts. A shootout at over 20 yards will likely call for using the shotgun. Police officers can carry a gun that shoots bean bags, a non-deadly weapon typically used in riot or crowd control situations.
A relatively new addition to the list of police officer equipment, TASER®guns work more effectively when neutralizing suspects without causing excessive physical harm. On average, TASER guns can travel about 15 feet to latch onto 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 the opportunity to make the arrest.
In addition to personal equipment, officers use software programs and tools like the NYPD Patternizr Software, which helps solve crime more quickly.
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