In 2012, a lone, crazy gunman walked into the hospital of the University of Pittsburgh and started shooting people with two handguns, causing multiple casualties. The university police officers were active-shooter trained and were able to respond within minutes. Understandably in a rush, one of the responding officers, according to personal testimony, grabbed his rifle upon leaving his car but left his gear bag behind. After entering the hospital, he and his colleagues moved to the sound of gunfire and eventually engaged the suspect. While firing his rifle, the officer was keenly aware that the only ammunition on him was that in his weapon. Thankfully, the threat was neutralized and further deaths were prevented. The officer’s testimony highlights the need to always have a gear bag ready to go at a moment’s notice. Otherwise, you may find yourself part of the problem and not part of the solution.
When calls like these come, the response must be immediate; there is no time to think. As the threat matrix for law enforcement officers nationwide has grown and changed, so has the amount of necessary gear. The gear needed by the officer for the wide-ranging threats they face has to be packed and ready to go.
For SWAT callouts, when all of your gear, including a rifle, needs to be ready to go, BlackHawk offers its Medium ALERT bag. Combining “exceptional compartmentalization and versatility,” the ALERT unzips and folds flat for quick, convenient loading. The bag also offers the operator several large, zippered, mesh compartments with which to segregate each piece of gear, allowing for easy gear identification and implementation. The ALERT is constructed of 1,000-denier nylon and features reinforced stitching for durability.
Another option is the Diversion Courier bag. As the name implies, it has a very low-key appearance. It looks like an ordinary messenger shoulder bag, but it’s been enhanced for personal protection and response. Whether for patrol or for an active-shooter response, the bag is constructed of industrial-strength 500-denier nylon and is padded on the back for comfortable wear, making it an ideal choice for use during a rapid response.
Hatch, part of The Safariland Group, is a brand that provides quality gloves, protective gear and exceptional bags for duty. Among them is the D1 Patrol Duty bag. Constructed of 840-denier Cordura nylon and featuring heavy-duty zippers and a removable nylon web shoulder strap, the D1 Patrol Duty features an interior compartment with plenty of room for gear as well as an adjustable divider for precise organization. On the exterior are two zippered cargo pockets, two flip-top pockets and three open-top pockets. Though a patrol bag in name, the D1 doubles as an active-shooter response platform.
Another great Hatch bag is the M2 Mission Specific gear bag. Designed specifically for riots or SWAT callouts, the M2 provides a helmet compartment for storing and protecting one of the most valuable pieces of SWAT gear. The M2 is a large, heavy-duty bag constructed of 1,000-denier Cordura nylon. Its shoulder strap allows for easy carry, and its three exterior zippered cargo pockets and two zippered mesh pockets allow the operator to sort and carry a diverse array of needed items.
For the tough missions that LEOs face every day, they need the right gear close at hand to get the job done. Duty-ready bags like these leave an operator locked and loaded.
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