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How early on did you start amassing all your gear?

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  • How early on did you start amassing all your gear?

    I'm a newb and have a conditional offer from a local PD, so I haven't even started the academy yet. From reading several threads in this forum it seems like there is a lot of extra stuff that is either needed or is great to have, e.g. extra pair of boots, gloves, extra cuffs, hand sanitizer, lysol, etc. etc... My question is when did most of you start buying these items that your agency doesn't issue?

    I'm not super concerned since I have a way to go before I'm on the streets, but am curious.

    Thanks,

    JP

  • #2
    I got a good bit of stuff right before I finished the academy. Boots, flashlights, clip boards, big nylon gear bag to carry it all. I would ask some of your agencies FTOs what you NEED the first day out. The rest you can look around at what other officers have and see what works best.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JP1882 View Post
      I'm a newb and have a conditional offer from a local PD, so I haven't even started the academy yet. From reading several threads in this forum it seems like there is a lot of extra stuff that is either needed or is great to have, e.g. extra pair of boots, gloves, extra cuffs, hand sanitizer, lysol, etc. etc... My question is when did most of you start buying these items that your agency doesn't issue?

      I'm not super concerned since I have a way to go before I'm on the streets, but am curious.

      Thanks,

      JP

      SHortly after i started out in LE,I started working for Tulsa County S.O. inTulsa.I started dating one of the clerks at the local Cop Shops.I used to get a hell of a discount!!I quickly got a hugh collection of Police Equipment..............right up until I found out she was married and I confronted her about it!!! Then i had to start paying full price for everything.LOL!!
      Just take it easy on the impulse buying.I have bought stuff I just knew i needed and never used.I just recently sold a crap load of police stuff on Ebay that i never use anymore,or ever used..
      FILL YOUR HANDS!!!

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      • #4
        Like they said, it is tempting to starting buying some stuff now, but you might end up getting stuff that you won't need, so resist the urge. Even equipment that you think would be universal to all, like a flashlight, you may find out has restrictions from your agency or is issued anyway, etc.

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        • #5
          Agreed with Jim. Some really cool cop gadgetry isn't allowed in certain agencies. I'd wait on the really expensive stuff. However, if you just can't wait, ask. Find out what's provided and ask what's useful that isn't provided. Most of what you need is probably issued.

          Honestly, the best investment I ever made for on-duty, was a dollar store back scratcher to get those under vest itches - you guys know what I'm talking about.

          I prefer to have a lighted cuff key - mine is a stream light w/white led. That's maybe $15. Hand sanitizer is maybe $3 for a few months worth. I like underarmor shirts, those are $25 a piece at Bass Pro Shops. One of those desk things that goes on your steering wheel (Easy Desk?) is great for in car report writing - that's maybe $20. A few packs of gel pens (G6?) maybe $10 worth.

          What are you thinking you'll need?

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          • #6
            Thanks for the good advice especially about waiting to find out what is allowed by my prospective agency and what I am told I NEED for FTO. I certainly understand the urge for the impulse buy. Just from browsing on-line stores such as gtdist.com and streichers there appears to be a lot of "cool" stuff. I think I will hold off on most items until I'm closer to actually hitting the streets. Most of what I was thinking about were items such as a duty bag, duty gloves, extra pair of boots, digital voice recorder, undershirts, pens, lysol disinfectant spray (to de-funk whatever needs to be de-funked). I could probably go on, but after reading all of your replies I'll keep it to the basics until I KNOW what is allowed and needed and what is recommended by my FTO. As of right now, I haven't even started the academy yet so I know less than nothing. Maybe if I see some hand sanitizer on sale I'll start stocking up.

            Thanks again for the advice!

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            • #7
              The only thing I can imagine you needing during the FTO process is your gun and radio. (I never needed anything else.) The gun is really the only thing you can't sacrafice in law enforcement. Your FTO should have everything already in his car like hand sanatizer, forms, etc. Use his stuff. I did. In Arkansas you're a sworn police officer even before you attend the academy so you're often in FTO for a while before going to ALETA. Why buy your own junk until you need it?

              When I started working I had my own ASP baton (still haven't been issued one) from working at another agency that I used, I purchased a jacket since it was winter time and they won't issue one, and I used an inner belt that I got while working at another agency. My boots are Danners so they last forever and look good forever. I got these in 2004. I didn't want the P.D. buying me any boots as I'm sure they would have bought lesser quality ones anyway. I also carried my Stinger XT flashlight (though not on my belt) that I'd aquired years back while working as a paramedic. That was all the stuff I had other than a complete set of nylon that I'd aquired while working at the other agency, but I had no BDUs so I couldn't wear it anyway. I hate BDUs and nylon as it is.

              In the academy I was introduced to hinged cuffs which I liked so I bought some of those to use on the street. After I finished the academy I was in FTO for four additional weeks (38 days total FTO time). When that was over I packed a police-style tote bag that you see sold in all the catalogs with some forms and the host of books (ticket, accident short form, court appearance, etc) we're issued, a traffic law book that we were given in the academy, my Stinger charger, some pens, a towel, a bottle of hand sanatizer, the cuffs I was issued, a CPR mask I got from somebody, and my OC spray (I don't belt it). Other than the bag, what's on my belt, and my water cup I don't carry anything else. I like to travel light, and working in a city you can. If I were a rural cop I might pack more.

              Since I'm so totally bored right now I'm even going to list it all. Forgive me please.

              In the Bag:
              Big Streamlight
              Stinger XT
              Stinger charger
              cell phone charger
              traffic citation book, court appearance citation book, & accident short form books
              forms - vehicle inventory, consent to search, merchants affidavits, alarm sheets, probably others
              towel to wipe hands, sweat, spilled drinks, or keep crumbs off my clothes when i eat, lol (yes, i trade it out regularly to wash)
              hand sanatizer
              my OC spray and its holder
              a holder for my Stinger that I've never used
              traffic law book
              the p.d.'s policy manual (it's thin lol)
              a traffic vest which i'd totally forgotten about till now
              a hazmat "yellow" book i'd also forgotten about
              a day planner
              pens, pencils, sharpie
              this neat little bandaid holder and some neosporin
              Tylenol
              a Glock brand thing that makes loading Glock clips easier
              a zip drive for computers
              a miniature criminal code book
              a little dry erase board that I sit in the seat and its clip on marker
              a regular clip board
              some little binoculars
              spare cuffs
              EMT shears (to get them out of my truck)
              CPR mask
              (most of these things I just had laying around the house)
              I'd have an issued laptop to lug around too if they'd give me one. On most days I'm glad I don't have it actually.

              On the Belt:
              glove pouch - it's small, lightweight, and in a spot I could never possibly put anything else in so I let it stay on there
              gun
              asp baton albeit practically useless and I only carry it because it amuses me to pull out and has so for years
              handcuffs
              radio
              taser - God's gift to policework
              magazines

              In the Pockets:
              pen-like handcuff key in shirt pocket
              issued note pads (they're actually neat note pads) in shirt pocket
              a small list of our codes and signals as some dispatchers use ones that none of us cops know in notepad in shirt pocket
              ink pen in shirt pocket
              key to my car door as I leave my car running almost all the time with my set of keys in the ignition in shirt pocket
              clip on knife in pants pockets
              wallet in pants pocket (I can only get to like 2 pockets on my pants)
              I clip my cell phone and sunglasses to the car visor

              Lastly, I carry this stainless steal, insulated cup called the "Bubba Keg" it's 52 ounces, and I keep ice water in it. I drink a lot and subsequently evacuate a lot, lol. Ironically, I like this process because it gives me a reason to go somewhere and do something when I'm bored.

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              • #8
                I just noticed that someone mentioned UnderArmor shirts. I wear these, and I like them. They seem to make your vest slide up more, but, in turn, it's easy to slide back down. While wearing a cotton undershirt it doesn't slide up as much, but when it does it's a pain to slide back down. Also, when the UA shirts get sweaty, I don't notice it. If a cotton undershirt get sweaty it annoys me for the rest of the shift. Plus what better is there to wear under bodyarmor than underarmor?

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                • #9
                  Completely with you man! Underarmour is wet for what, 90 seconds? A cotton t-shirt is wet all shift. The vest is gonna ride no matter what you wear under it, might as well be dry.

                  Oh, I'm gonna add, if you're like me, you might want a "cool cop" for your car.

                  Comment

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