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  • Radios with ear pieces

    I work for my county's Financial Management Department with Risk Management. One of the Police Major's within our county has asked for suggestions on keeping or doing away with their ear pieces for radios. My initial thought was, "well, if the staff likes them, keep them." I know they're optional, not all officers wear them, and that the volume can be adjusted (I say that because my boss was concerned with hearing conservation). I think they serve a good purpose for being in noisy environments and being able to keep conversation over radios private to those around. I just wanted an opinion from other officers from around the country on how other departments have handled this. Has it ever been brought up? If so, how was it handled? Any opinions on pro's and con's on use of the ear pieces. I am going to call around to surrounding counties in our state to see if they have any input, but I thought none would be greater that what you all would have to offer. Thanks.

  • #2
    One question to ask is -- how good are your dispatchers? By that I mean - we have one dispatcher that if she asks if you are ok to receive confidential info, you better be ... because she isn't really going to wait for an answer. If she is on shift, the ear piece goes in immediately for me.

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    • #3
      Our officers can choose to wear earpieces. I have one I wear from time to time. We are given a few hundred dollars a year, apiece, we can use to buy uniform apparel. Earpieces are allowed for purchase; I think ours are around 35 to 40 bucks. They are great for noisy environments and they prevent feedback between our car radios and our portables, which makes our dispatchers happy. For me, I don't find mine all that comfortable and finding a way to hook it to my vest, under my shirt, is a fight every time i use it. If I am on the ATV for patrol, it is necessary in order to hear the radio.

      Covman

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      • #4
        Originally posted by covman454 View Post
        Our officers can choose to wear earpieces. I have one I wear from time to time. We are given a few hundred dollars a year, apiece, we can use to buy uniform apparel. Earpieces are allowed for purchase; I think ours are around 35 to 40 bucks. They are great for noisy environments and they prevent feedback between our car radios and our portables, which makes our dispatchers happy. For me, I don't find mine all that comfortable and finding a way to hook it to my vest, under my shirt, is a fight every time i use it. If I am on the ATV for patrol, it is necessary in order to hear the radio.

        Covman
        +1

        I wear one since I work courtrooms. I can listen to traffic without bothering the judge

        Ours are issued and replaced as needed by the Sheriff
        Last edited by Iowa #1603; 12-12-2014, 01:37 PM.
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Shush View Post
          One question to ask is -- how good are your dispatchers? By that I mean - we have one dispatcher that if she asks if you are ok to receive confidential info, you better be ... because she isn't really going to wait for an answer. If she is on shift, the ear piece goes in immediately for me.
          This would be something I would have to discuss with our officers. Thanks.

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          • #6
            About 85% of our patrol deputies (160-ish sworn at our agency) use an earpieces. I have used one since the mid-90s and can find zero downside to it. They should be mandatoru, as all it takes is one guy who refuses to update, and then his radio blares out a bunch of noise when you're trying to be stealthy.
            Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

            I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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            • #7
              These are all good points... hope to get more. Thanks a lot.

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              • #8
                In my department it's up to the individual officer, and purchased at the officer's expense. Personally, I can't work without them. I have tinnitus in both ears from combat, so sometimes when the ringing is bad I have to turn the volume up really high. That can be a big problem when trying to do anything tactical. Plus, I absolutely hate it when a dispatcher announces to the world my party has a warrant without asking if I'm prepared to copy. I don't like foot chases.

                My need for an ear piece is so great I own two. One is the most expensive model one company sells ($250 +) that I wear everyday. However, it is an electronic device and occasionally needs repair. For those occasions, I have a $75 model that stays in my locker as a spare.
                MAC

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                • #9
                  Ours are optional. Some wear them, some don't. I wore them on the road and then stopped when I got assigned to the schools.
                  The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

                  I Am the Sheepdog.


                  "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
                  that we are all that stands between
                  the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Has anyone ever heard if these ear pieces being linked to hearing loss?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FMS003 View Post
                      Has anyone ever heard if these ear pieces being linked to hearing loss?
                      That was a concern when I first was told I would be wearing one----------------------------but I can't see it as a problem as long as the volume level is adjusted properly.

                      It's not like kids today blaring rap music through headphones
                      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                      • #12
                        We don't use them in my department. We work with partners and at times listen to different frequencies at the same time. Without the ear pieces there are two sets of ears listening to each radio.

                        There are also some advantages to having radios crackling. It helps to scatter the roaches sometimes when it's convenient. I've also used it to get assistance faster in businesses when there for official business. People want to help you and get you, and your radio, out of there.
                        “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.” - Robert F. Kennedy.

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                        • #13
                          I wouldn't go without one. Just about every other person we talk to has a warrant and I want them to find out when I'm ready for them to find out.

                          Originally posted by FMS003 View Post
                          Has anyone ever heard if these ear pieces being linked to hearing loss?
                          I don't know if there are any studies, but I would be more concerned about the environments that we go to that necessitate having an earpiece just to hear the radio traffic. Not that you can avoid that.
                          "Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned."

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                          • #14
                            Earpiece are a must! Keeps you stealthy, can hear the radio traffic in loud environment, bad guy can't hear radio traffic and you can act like you need to go to a hot call when you have a citizen trying to talk you to death! :-) You know you've done it! hahaha
                            Strong Body, Sharp Mind And Good Tactics!

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                            • #15
                              Earpieces are a must for several reasons, the first being that I do not want my clients to hear what info I am getting over my radio. Another thing is I WANT to be able to hear what it coming over it. Sometimes you are in a location where the background noice would drown out radio traffic without an ear piece.
                              In God We Trust
                              Everyone else we run local and NCIC

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