American COP April 2013 Digital Edition - Page 37

fROM JOHN THOMAS GROHN HEAD TO TOE 2 I was just reorganizing the gear in the trunk of my police car. There’s not a lot of free space in there because I not only have all my patrol gear in there, I’ve got all my SWAT stuff too: armor, plate carrier, drop leg holster, helmet, night vision goggles, bags, batteries, smoke grenades, flash-bang, etc. It seems I go through this stuff on a monthly basis, but it’s important to keep everything organized and separate. I can’t afford to grab the wrong gear when I’m at a call-out, thus I’m always on a quest to streamline my gear to make myself more efficient and effective as a patrol cop and SWAT team member. Because police work can go from monotonous to dangerous in the blink of an eye, you’ve got to be able to grab your gear and go — now! You may not have time to get sorted out. So, here’s some of my favorite gear I have with me for those SWAT moments. But remember, regardless of your title or your station in police work, whether you’re on a full- or part-time tactical team, a patrol officer, detective, School Resource Officer or whatever, you owe it to yourself to train. Train with the gear you plan on carrying into the field. All the gear in the world, no matter how “high speed” it may be, might not save you when the chips are down. Mindset and training are where it’s at. 8 AsaMarineIlearnedtheimportanceoftakingcareofmy hands and feet, and BLACKHAWK! also understands this.IweartheirLightAssaultbootsforseveralreasons: they’re lightweight, rugged and most importantly, comfortable.Themeshandmicrofiberuppersmake thesebootsbreathable,andtoeandheelareasare builtupwithextrarubbertowithstandplentyof punishinguse.Theanklesupportisoutstanding. To protect my hands, I prefer the SOLAG (Special Operations Lightweight Assault Glove) with Kevlar gloves. These Kevlar-lined Nomexandleathergloveshavesoftfoampaddingforthebackofthehandandknucklearea. Andtohelpcustom-fittheseglovestoyourhand, therearehookandloopstrapsatthewriststraps andbackofthehand.NomatterhowmuchIdrag myknuckles,I’msurenottoscuff‘em.SOLAGscome inseveraldifferentiterationsfromregular(shown)toHD(heavy duty)andtouchscreencompatiblemodels. 6 1 2 9 3 We’vehighlightedtheSmallPryinthepast,butit’ssuchagreat,lightweight toolitwarrantsanothermention.SWATgearcanbeheavyandcumbersome, and the Small Pry helps lighten the load while enabling me to gain entry into lockedstructures.Itmakeseasyworkofinteriordoors;Icancutscreenswiththe sharpenededgeandrakeglasswiththehandle.Thistooljustmakessense. Youreadyforanabsolutegamechanger?I’musingtheLDI-DBALA2fromthe folksatTNVC.Thisbadboyisadual-beam-aiminglaser,meaningit’sbothavisiblegreenlaserandaninfraredilluminatorandpointerforusewithNVGs(nightvision goggles).Thiscurrentmodelhasbeenimprovedfrompastmodels.Specifically,theIR illuminatorprovidessharperimagesatlongerdistances,andthegreenlaser,whichis easiertoseeduringdaylight,replacesthepreviousredlaserversions.Justonecontrol 3 4 WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM 37

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