POLICE Magazine

AUG 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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22 POLICE AUGUST 2019 Last month POLICE conducted a survey on the bags and packs officers use and what gear they carry in them. is survey of working law enforcement officers revealed some interesting information about how many bags and multiple types of the same gear they take with them for work. It seems with every passing year officers are required to carry more and more gear with them on duty. A duty belt can carry quite a bit, but its space is decidedly finite. And some gear just doesn't need to be on an officer at all times. Bulkier items and backup supplies such as spare flashlight batteries and extra protein bars find a home in one or more bags often placed in the officer's vehicle. BAGS Not unsurprisingly, almost all survey respondents (95%) use at least one bag to carry everyday gear for duty. Nearly 40% own two bags for work, while almost a quarter use three. Most respondents spent between $25 and $75 on the bag they use most on duty. Patrol bags and backpacks were the most popular types, used by 72% and 49% of respondents, respectively. Range bags, sling packs, and duffel bags were also popular answers. Multiple styles allow LEOs to choose the right size, shape, and even look to meet their needs. And when officers carry multiple bags for different uses, being able to easily distinguish one dedicated pack from another based on appearance alone can be helpful. Almost half of respondents use a bag for range training and 20% use a bag for other types of training. A full third use bags for other designated purposes, including those suited to specific calls or details such as active shooter response, riot control, SWAT, search and rescue, and CBRNE. One officer has separate dedicated bags for medical, ERT, and forensics applications. In addition to tools like prybars and screwdrivers, many officers said they carry prac- tical, though not tactical, items in their bags such as baby wipes, snacks, medicine, toys for kids, air freshener, and a mirrored compact an officer permanently borrowed from his wife. "Wife still has not missed it," he quips. Several officers mentioned carrying feminine hygiene products to absorb blood from injuries, including tampons for punc- ture wounds. Answers more off the beaten path included cake icing, an old flashlight without any batteries, antique claw cuffs, "bald head lotion," and a fake hand and foot. MEDICAL KITS Now often considered essential gear for all officers, medical supplies are no longer just for medics. In fact, 78% of respondents carry a medical kit in their go bag. And agencies Exclusive POLICE Survey: Bags and Gear Officers utilize packs on duty to carry everything from the bare essentials and specialty gear to unusual items such as cake icing. Melanie Basich How many bags or packs do you own for use on the job? What do you use your bag(s) for? (Check all that apply.) What type of bag(s) do you use for your job? (Check all that apply.) Patrol Bag 72% Backpack 49% Range Bag 36% Sling Pack 25% Utility Pouch 12% Case/Sleeve (for rifles) 19% Side Satchel 6% Messenger Bag 16% Duffel 26% Other 10% Everyday gear for duty Range Training Other Training Other 95% 1% 16% 38% 24% 9% 12% 48% 20% 33% None 1 2 3 4 5 or more g ILLUSTR ATION: L AMAR NORMAN

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