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  • Police Go Kits

    Police Go Kits


    Given the dynamic nature of events that police professionals face on a given day, the following article discusses the potential value of creating a grab and go kit. Generally, a go-kit, is an easily carried pack that contains items that may come in more than just handy in a critical situation.

    As with the general civilian population, the importance of having a personal evacuation or disaster kit is frequently discussed. For civilians, their go-kit contains essentials to sustain themselves for a short period of time until a crisis it mitigated. Their go-kits should contain items such as water, medications, a flashlight, a multipurpose tool, a portable radio, non-perishable foods and personal comfort items. For those in law enforcement I would add to that list by including items that would sustain you in a potentially protracted event that requires you to remain on station for an extended period of time. Situations could include a hostage/barricade situation, weather related emergency or otherwise. Unlike the civilians you serve and protect, you will be needed and may not have disaster assistance immediately available.

    So what else should you include in your go-kit? That depends on your particular mission and more importantly, what your agency allows. Given the great disparity in what agencies permit an officer to carry while on duty, I strongly recommend discussion with your respective employer regarding what is on the policy books before you decide to stock your go-kit with knives, extra ammunition or a firearm lest you run afoul of department rules.

    Following identification of what is permitted; consider not just your operating environment but the potential to be deployed out of your normal area; for extended periods of time; in a variety of weather conditions and other environments. What I caution against is over packing. The process of deciding what to load into your go-kit should consider a wide range of factors but no delve into over fanciful scenarios. At the very least consider extra magazines for your primary weapon, a box of duty ammunition, a fixed blade knife, a backup flashlight, snap-lights/glow sticks, and extra restraints. You may also find a need to include ammunition and magazines for your secondary weapon and a backup firearm; the decision rests with your agencies policies and your assessment.

    I have found that a standard size backpack suits me just fine as a go-kit. It has a main compartment that accommodates my essential items, side pockets for what I deem to be more frequently needed items and is easily slung over my shoulders while in full duty gear. While it is conceivable to load a larger bag with additional items, I took into consideration my assessment of what I need to sustain myself. The kit I maintain contains: two 2-liter bottles of water, a personal first-aid kit, aspirin, three trauma bandage packs, half a dozen high protein energy bars, four bags of low sodium beef jerky, two pairs of socks, a t-shirt, leather gloves, a multipurpose tool, a flashlight with extra batteries, a roll of duct tape and a laminated emergency contact list. In addition, I took into account other factors and stocked my kit accordingly. Your assessment may dictate a different compliment and that’s just fine. What is important is to assess your needs and then stock your go-kit accordingly.

    Once you stock your go-kit, don’t neglect it. Even water is perishable. Make it a matter of routine that when you clean your weapon, you check and rotate items in your go-kit. Nothing could be worse than to find yourself in need only to learn that your kit has been neglected to the point of having spoiled food or missing items. I would add that your kit should be clearly marked with your name. This can be done with a luggage tag or by writing your name in a plainly visible location.

    In closing this article, I stress that just as we impart to the civilian population we serve that they should have the means to sustain themselves for the short-term, we must practice what we preach. Not only must we provide for our temporary wellbeing, we need tools to do our jobs beyond the normal day.

    ____
    This article was written as part of a professional development endeavor and is not indicative of any particular agencies policies or procedures. ____
    Last edited by sgt jon; 10-03-2011, 03:34 PM.
    Originally posted by SSD
    It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
    Originally posted by Iowa #1603
    And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

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