Archive for the ‘Police Tools and Equipment’ Category

PostHeaderIcon What a Waist: A Cop’s Duty Belt

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Imagine strapping a bowling ball to your waist each day before heading out to work. Wouldn’t want to do it? No?

Well, the weight of a bowling ball is the equivalent to what police officers carry on their duty belts every single day of their lives. And they walk, sit, stand, and even run while toting all that poundage. Believe me, it’s not fun.

Here’s an example of what you could expect to find attached to an officer’s belt.

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Two magazines @ 15 rounds each, plus the magazine inserted into the pistol (another 15 rounds), and one in the chamber = 46 rounds. A full box/”brick” of bullets = 50 rounds.

By the way, officers ALWAYS carry a round loaded into the chamber. That business we see on TV where officers “rack” the slide before entering a dangerous situation…well, that’s made-for-television BS.

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Handcuff keys are generally carried on a key ring or in a pocket. However, in preparation of an unexpected emergency, it’s not unusual for officers to hide a spare key somewhere on their duty belt/gun belt. You know, in case the officer is working with Kate Beckett (Castle) and the pair is kidnapped and handcuffed to one another. After all, if you’re working with Beckett as your partner you can pretty much count on being abducted at some point in your fictional career.

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Of course, there are many other options, such as cellphones, flashlights, and batons of all kinds and sizes.

And then there’s the glue—THE most important attachment of all—that holds it all together…belt keepers. Without these small straps gravity would pull the gun belt downward around the officer’s ankles. Not cool, especially during a foot pursuit.

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Belt keepers loop around the duty belt and the belt worn to hold up the officer’s pants. With the keepers snapped into place the duty belt cannot fall to the ground, preventing those embarrassing thong-exposing moments.

And now you know the secret of where the phrase “thin blue line” originated. Shh…

 

PostHeaderIcon Is That a Gun in Your…Pants?

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You do your best to make the heroes of your tall tales as cool as possible. They’re the best at everything they do. They can out-shoot, out-fight, and out-think every character who dares to enter a paragraph. Your superstars can drive a car better than Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr. combined, and they’re far better lovers that those shirtless, fake-tan guys on the romance covers. Hell, even James Bond should take “suave and debonair” lessons from your protagonists.

So what’s the problem, you ask? Well, come closer. I think it’s best that I whisper so only you can hear. Don’t want to embarrass your hero, you know.

Okay, here goes, and this is between you and me. The trouble is…is…well, it’s the size of their guns and the way they carry them……..I know, shocking, isn’t it? But I think I can help, and these simple pointers should do the trick.

1. Stop having your good guy shove his handgun into his waistband at the small of his back. It’s not safe, nor is it a handy place for retrieval of the weapon. To better illustrate, please allow me to tell a brief story to help clarify my point.

It was around 3 a.m. and I and another officer were working an undercover narcotics operation. We’d made a substantial buy from a house in a very dangerous part of town and were sitting in my undercover car preparing to leave the area, when we heard a call come across the radio. “Shots fired. One man down, believed to be deceased. Shooter is running east in the alley between Dumb and Dumber streets.”

My partner and I immediately looked at each other. We were sitting at the eastern end of the alley. A second later the shooter zipped past the front of my car.

My partner jumped out to chase the asswipe while I called in our position and to say we were in foot pursuit (so much for the undercover role).

It’s tough to run while wearing a gun strapped to your ankle, but you get used to it…sort of. Anyway, I started running at full speed in the direction I last saw my partner. It was pitch-black dark. No moon. No streetlights.

After what seemed like ten minutes and a total shutdown of my lungs and heart, I heard a commotion. I’d heard the sound before and knew it to be that of humans crossing a chain-link fence. After chasing a dozen or so thugs through backyards and around snarling dogs, those type of sounds become very familiar to you. Anyway, I knew I was gaining on my partner and the bad guy.

All of a sudden I heard a very loud BANG! It was a gunshot.

Next came a couple of moans and a, “Don’t move you &%^$#$^ing &%$%##$&!!!” My partner, bless his heart, had a very firm grasp on a very colorful set of language skills and vocabulary.

I reached the fence and climbed over where I found my partner lying on the ground moaning and groaning, with a very large murderer kneeling beside him. The killer was firmly pressing a handkerchief against my partner’s right buttock.

I, totally unsure of what the hell I was seeing, pointed my gun at the bad guy and told him to get down on the ground and keep his hands where I could see them. I was certain he’d shot my partner and was trying to get his gun. However…the handkerchief?

Turns out my partner had shoved his big fat Beretta 92F into his waistband, at the small of his back, just as he started chasing the shooter. And, when he climbed over the fence the gun slipped down inside the seat of his pants and had somehow discharged. In other words, my partner shot himself in the butt.

The murderer heard the shot and thought my partner had fired a round at him, so he stopped in his tracks. However, when the bad guy realized what had happened he turned around, walked over to his pursuer, and began emergency first aid. Go figure.

So you see, the small of the back, without a proper holster, is a very bad place to carry a concealed weapon. Do your hero a big favor and write in a specially designed holster made for that area.

Two additional gun-carry no-no’s are:

1. The pants pocket. It’s far too easy for the hammer to catch on pocket material, preventing a quick draw. There’s nothing more embarrassing, or dangerous, than having to repeatedly pull and tug on your gun when you most need it. To make matters worse, the pocket material will more than likely rip and tear and come out attached to the barrel. And that, my friends, definitely makes your hero look pretty silly.

2. A woman’s pocketbook. Who knows how much stuff she’d have to paw through to even find her too big and too clunky gun, much less get a grip on it and draw. Besides, you know when the protagonist finally does manage to draw the weapon it’ll be coated with lint, two old lifesavers, two or three dry-cleaning receipts, and one of those things only carried by women. It’s not a pretty sight.

There are many purses and holsters specifically designed for concealed carry. Please buy one for the hero in your stories. They’ll be glad you did.

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