K.I.S.S. gear selection
I was talking with a police friend of mine, who, as am I is a bit of a gear junkie. I spent an amount of time I don’t even want to think about researching what gear is out there. I check it all out; the new and improved gadgets, the cool thing that has 3,000 light settings that I’ll never use, and gizmos that are way over my pay grade. But over the years, I’ve learned though different training classes, experience, and my pocketbook to abide by the K.I.S.S. method. I wish I could of settled on this method 10 years ago when I started policing. I would have a lot more money and way less gear just laying around, looking for a good rookie’s home. I’ve seen a lot of “Every Day Carry” (referred to the ones in the know as “EDC”) YouTube videos and even read some articles, but trust me there were pictures, cops love more pictures and less reading. But I haven’t really seen a specific plain clothes or police off duty video or article. So I’ve decided to write down my personal carry and experiences with that gear. Please feel free to comment or add what you may carry.
I have both my plain clothes and off duty gear broken down into a few very important categories. But first a little background. I work as a regular patrol officer and newly assigned to a part time S.R.T. or otherwise known as S.W.A.T. team. I also have the pleasure to work a regular amount of plain clothes narcotics with my department and teams from the county and state. Just as with patrol, I have several must haves while working in any capacity.
First obviously is firearm. I further break that down into what are my needs. Ammo capacity, possible threats I may face, how am I carrying my fire arm and back up fire arm, how covert or overt do I need to be. For the most part I will carry my Glock 19 with a TLR-1. I can conceal this pretty easily with a low profile outside the waistband holster, even under my extra-medium shirts I tend to wear. I chose C&G holsters for this method of carry and every other type of carry except for when on regular patrol. I will admit Chris is a fellow officer and friend of mine who owns the company. But I don’t play favorites when it comes to something important like carrying my firearm. Chris first came to me through a friend and said, “Hey bro I make kydex holsters, you wanna try one out.” My heart skipped a beat, more gear! I was excited to try his stuff out. So I picked up an OWB kydex holster and took it to the range. The quality was very good. Great positive retention, fits close to the body, and was still quick out of the holster with no hang ups. I put this holster through its paces. Never once had an issue, and still holds true to this day. No foot pursuit, fence jumping, getting in and out of cars, or rolling around with bad guys could beat this holster up or loosen the retention. For deep cover, off duty, or a second firearm, I tend to carry a Glock 43 with a holster from C&G as well. Same great quality and features I’ve listed above. I would like to add that this is an IWB and I carry it appendix. Again, wearing even my extra-medium shirts and very little to no printing. I talked to Chris and said I think you’re onto something here, what else can you make. His response was very simple, “What do you want?”
Next is extra ammo carry. Pretty simple, C&G makes mag carriers. So I picked them up for the two firearms I carry most and same quality. Holds retention and fits close to the body. That’s about all you can ask for.
Third and almost more important is medical. I have been through several “tactical medical” courses, combat life saver, and even did the band-aid wagon thing in my early years. Medical is something very over looked with law enforcement. I have heard it myself from fellow officers, “Our ambulance is close; it’s their job to save us.” Gut check time ladies and fellas; when bullets are flying the ambulance isn’t going to be anywhere close. Even after the scene is secure, there will be a parade of police cars and the medics are going to have to hoof it to you. By that time, you’ll be dead or on your way knocking on heaven’s door. (I know everyone reading this immediately had the Guns N’ Roses song playing in your head, just admit it.) Learn how to treat yourself and your partner. I’m a firm believer in carrying at the minimum a tourniquet. I myself always carry one, doesn’t matter in what capacity I’m working or just running to the store to grab a can of dip. (Speaking of, C&G makes these cool chew can holders too) I have carried medical on my ankle in this cool pouch I found. It has been pretty beaten up and looked for another way. I was talking to Chris about this and he made a neat kydex C.A.T. holder. You can get it for belt mount, molle, or even to a Safariland thigh rig. I carry one on my belt, and one on my thigh rig. Off duty I carry a belt mount. The rest of my medical gear consists of quick-clot, small pressure bandage, and a chest seal. These items could be carried easily in a zip lock bag and thrown bellows pocket or get a pouch for it on your belt.
The rest of my EDC for plain clothes is a Streamlight Strion, kydex cuff case, and some sort of blade. Depends what I grab in the morning. In total, all this gear takes very little room and can simply be covered with a t-shirt along the waistline or in a pocket. There’s my two cents, let me hear my fellow LEO’s out there.