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OFFICER suRVIVAl JOHN RussO GETTING HOME IN THE sAME CONDITION yOu WENT TO WORk IN. MiDBaR: Minimum daily Backup Requirements he importance of carrying a backup and off-duty gun can’t be stressed enough. I’m a firm believer in the adage, “bring enough gun”; and even stronger in, “one in none, two is one.” Many of you subscribe to this philosophy when on-duty, carrying a backup gun in your pocket, vest or ankle rig, a small, secondary light in addition to your full-size light, several spare magazines You can tell by the wear marks, publisher Roy Huntington carries his NAA .22 LR often. T and who knows how much extra gear in your war bag. So, what happens when you change out at the end of shift and head home? If you’re of the breed of cops who carry a gun off-duty, I applaud you. Just like when you’re on-duty, you need to ask yourself some tough questions and play the “what if” game. You have a gun — good start; if you fire your weapon or it malfunctions, are Before you whine, you pretake notice the pared to reCrackberry is similar load? What in size to the NAA will you do gun, the light and with a bad the knife. guy you’ve proned-out? Do you have something else you can transition to? If it’s a low-light environment, do you have a flashlight and is it bright enough to be effective? Do you have a cell phone and is the local law enforcement agency on speed dial? Quit Yer Bitchin’ F or those of you already complaining that I’m advocating the need to carry a ton of gear, stop whining. It’s pretty easy to be prepared and still carry a small amount of gear in your pockets. Here’s my minimum recommended list of items to carry off-duty: cell phone, handgun, spare ammo, string cuffs, flashlight, knife and, of course, your badge and ID card. This may sound like a lot for some but with the right gear choices it really doesn’t take up much space. The cell phone is critical and you need to have the local agency on speed dial for any areas you regularly frequent. Also, think about calling for help before something happens. Your handgun choice is important and should be something you can shoot quickly and accurately, as well as conceal. This may change based upon your clothing choices due to the weather or planned activity. Your spare ammunition should be at least one magazine for semi-autos or one QuickStrip or speedloader for revolvers. Shoestring-style handcuffs are a great compromise to carrying bulky handcuffs. You won’t even notice them in your pocket, and if you ever need them, you’ll be glad to have something. A flashlight will be bouncing around in your pocket for days, weeks or even months between uses, so go with one that’s an LED and runs on CR123 lithium ion batteries. The latest LED technology makes even the tiniest lights plenty bright, and lithium ion batteries are the best power source for long-term storage and reliability. o now you’ve got everything you need, right? Remember the one is none motto? How about carrying another gun off-duty or as a backup to your backup on-duty? No, I’m not paranoid, just practical. There are gun options little enough to carry in the smallest of pockets. For instance, North American Arms (NAA) has been making some great pocket semi-autos for the past four decades. They also make some of the smallest revolvers available; last-ditch options capable of saving your bacon when nothing else can. The guns are single-action, 5-shot revolvers primarily chambered in .22 LR and .22 Magnum. The cylinder must be removed to reload, which is actually pretty easy once you do it a few times. If you think of these guns as a backup or even a backup to your backup, then you’ll better understand their value. More importantly, there are times when you either can’t or won’t carry a larger gun. In such cases, something is always better than nothing and a NAA revolver adds another dimension to your carry options. If you wonder about a small gun’s capabilities, ask yourself this: Will a .22 LR hollow point round, fired at close range into an aggressor’s cranial vault, change his bad behavior? The answer is an unequivocal “yes.” While this may seem a graphic way to illustrate my point, it’s a “what if” you need to plan for. The fact is, officer survival is graphic, dangerous and sometimes scary, but ultimately it’s about saving lives. Carry and train with the right gear, get in the right mindset and don’t hesitate when the lottery of fate draws your number. S Tiny Terror * For info: WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 20

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