Five Must-Have Gadgets for Your Police Belt
Law enforcement folks love gadgets and the various accoutrements that go with the job. When I ran police academies in Ohio and Florida, police equipment catalogs littered the desks at lunchtime and cop supply websites were must reading among the cadets. Not surprisingly, conversations on breaks often revolved around the newest device or gadget.
All aspiring and newly minted officers covet the obligatory items (firearm, magazines, handcuffs, pepper spray, cell phone, radio, and Taser secured by multiple belt keepers) worn by our community heroes. This article covers five must have items not commonly thought of that make a crime fighter’s responsibilities that much easier. Not as fancy as the new Carbon Motors police vehicle or as technologically sexy as a license plate reader, these items (of various cost) take the fight against crime to a personal level as they are on your body and can save a life- yours or someone in the community.
Of course that is assuming you have enough room on the belt to place more items in addition to the above list. Skinny badge bearers will curse that statement, while larger law officers will lament their ample-room-on-the-belt status.
Not often thought of until you’ve been in the position to wish you had them, these items could help any law enforcer in situation when your local law enforcement product establishment is not so convenient for you to access. It’s not easy and a little too late to shop when you’ve got a person in a three point pin and you’re wishing for an additional way to safely restrain them.
Many of these gadgets will also be of service to you and your family off duty. Some officers have them in their personally owned vehicles as well as their patrol cars.
1) Window Punch.
Quite a few officers have taken their baton to a closed car window only to have it embarrassingly boomerang back at them as the onlookers laugh. Used by firefighters and EMTs, the spring loaded punch’s steel tip is placed at the corner of the window and allows entry with a minimum of effort. Ideal for situations from highway car fires to dogs left in locked vehicles unattended in parking lots. Around $10.00.
2) Seat Belt Cutter.
The answer to law enforcers insisting that they can’t wear seat belts on duty as they can be trapped in their cruiser, a seat belt cutter frees officers to use seat belts and save their own lives. Additionally important, this handy gadget can help officers to quickly free up trapped motorists when they arrive at a crash scene. Around $10.00.
Veteran law enforcers will recognize this one that was very popular years ago. The min-recorder is ideal for the officer dealing with a call in a building that does not have the luxury of an audio feed provided by the dash cam video system out of range back at the patrol car. Provided that the employing agency or local jurisdiction does not have prohibitions on recording people at calls for police service, this small audio device fits on the belt on in the shirt pocket. I used one myself in uniform and it has saved many an officers’ career. Around $20.00.