Your patrol bag is your lifeline. It should contain everything you need for any given situation – a tall order when most bags are fairly compact. Prepping your bag for a dangerous skirmish, a long day in the patrol car, and a routine traffic stop in one fell swoop isn’t easy, but it can be done.
You know your bag should include your protection vest, citation pad, evidence bags, and anything else provided specifically by your department. But what should you add that’s not on the list? Here are five unexpected items successful law enforcement officers say they never leave home without.
- Zip Ties
You probably have at least two pairs of handcuffs in your patrol car or on your belt, but you never know when you’re going to need more. Zip ties are good for more than just restraining suspects, too. You can use them to attach additional gear to your belt or to secure two items together in a pinch.
- Hand Sanitizer
You’re no good to your department if you’re constantly getting sick. From handshakes to door handles, law enforcement officers touch a lot of germy things throughout the day. Experienced officers tell us they keep a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer or a small pack of baby wipes on them to stay clean. Better yet, we suggest keeping a small first aid kit in your pack to ensure you’re prepared for any small medical need.
We’ve all become too reliant on digital GPS systems to guide our way. If you’re stuck in a “no service” area you aren’t familiar with, you need to be able to find your way out. Include maps for areas adjacent to your coverage zone in case you’re out of your element, and pack a compass if you have room.
- Rubber Gloves
Rubber gloves can help protect you from a variety of dangers in the field. Blood and other bodily fluids can spread dangerous diseases, and you’ll likely need to wear gloves to recover any evidence without contamination. Gloves stow away small, so pack a few pairs to ensure you’re always prepared.
- Extra Ammo
Extra ammo is the item you hope you never need. When it’s required, you either have it or you don’t, and not having enough can be more dangerous than having none at all. Experienced officers tell us that if they have any spare room in their patrol bag, they carry an extra ammo pack at all times. No room in your bag? Consider investing in a low-vis magazine carrier or a small mag pouch.
Vel Tye is proud to outfit law enforcement officers across the country with accessories, pouches, tactical vests, and more. Do you need help determining the right gear for yourself or for your team? Contact our experts today to get started.