It’s easy to assume small police departments don’t need the same level tactical gear as larger departments. With fewer people and places to manage, small departments are often at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to equipment funding and even hand-me-down organizational gear.
Small police departments deserve the same level of quality and protection as larger departments.
Most Departments are Small
Did you know that nearly half of all police departments employ fewer than 10 officers? Smaller departments don’t mean smaller responsibilities, however. While municipal departments employ an average of 2.1 officers for every 1,000 people, small agencies often cover larger geographical footprints with fewer officers. The low number of officers also mean officers in small departments won’t have as much access to back up in dangerous situations. All the more reason for these officers to be well-equipped.
Violent Crime Isn’t Just a “City” Problem
Contrary to popular belief, violent crime isn’t something only metropolitan police officers face. For the last several years, violent crime rates in small towns of 10,000 or fewer people have been on the rise; many of these cities are protected by only a handful of police officers. Without the proper gear (i.e. protection vests, defensive weaponry, functional radios), small town officers are left woefully underprepared to deal with violent threats.
Better Gear Saves Money
Yes, better tactical gear costs more money upfront. But high-quality, well-made gear lasts far longer and performs better. From protection vests that are worn only in certain situations to tactical knives that are never unsheathed, many small police departments require high-performance gear only occasionally. For this reason, gear that’s crafted from leading materials and designed to be used repeatedly for years on end is more likely to serve the purpose it was purchased for when it counts. Higher-quality police gear provides better ROI for both small departments and large.
Due to budgetary constraints, many small police departments must make choices about which gear they actually need. Because small police forces don’t typically have entire arsenals of equipment to choose from when heading out into the field, it’s all the more important for the gear they do have to pull double duty. Better gear saves lives.
Vel Tye believes that every police department deserves the highest quality gear available. For officers who put their lives on the line to protect the public each and every day, no equipment is ever too much. When our police forces are well-equipped, our communities are safer.