In many cities and municipalities around the country, police officers are woefully underequipped. Standard issue police gear varies from district to district, but most law enforcement officers are provided with the following:
- Multiple uniforms (short and long-sleeved, trousers, belt, jackets, tie clips, etc.)
- Duty firearm (may be switched to a “personal” weapon after a period of time)
- Handcuffs and case
- Badge/badge holder
But is this short list enough? Most police officers decide to supplement their standard issue gear with additional tactical supplies. Why? For better utility, more convenience, personal preference, and/or increased personal safety.
What kind of gear do police officers often buy themselves?
That depends. There’s a wide range of utility gear available that’s useful in the field, including utility pouches, radio holsters, zip-tie handcuffs, first aid kits, and report writing materials. An officer’s duties will dictate the gear they need on a day-to-day basis.
Do officers buy their own weapons?
Weapons are deeply personal to police officers. In some precincts officers are required to carry a standard-issue gun, provided by the department. In others, officers graduating past their probational period may carry the handgun of their choice (selected from an approved list). Modifications of weapons are sometimes allowed.
Is body armor or a bulletproof vest provided to an officer?
Some precincts provide officers with hard or soft body armor, but even then, law enforcement personnel often “upgrade” their armor with better-fitting tactical vests and plate carriers, higher-rated plates, and/or a secondary set to wear in case one is drying or damaged. There is a trend among officers and entire police departments to source military-grade tactical equipment to stand up against any in-field threat.
How do officers pay for their extra gear?
In some districts, officers will receive a “uniform stipend” to help cover the cost of additional tactical gear. Since every officer prefers different gear in the field, it doesn’t necessarily make sense for the district to provide a standard selection of equipment. Many officers, though, don’t receive funding for additional gear and must find affordable tactical equipment on their own.
Most police officers working today have supplied much of their own tactical equipment. Purchasing and maintaining an array of necessary tools is a huge burden to officers, but an inevitability in the field of law enforcement.
Vel Tye appreciates police officers’ need to carry quality gear in the field. Our USA-made tactical supplies are specially designed for police officers, security officers, and military personnel. Browse our online store today to see what’s new.