Police gear (like Galls products) is what law enforcement officials use for taking down criminals each day on the job. But what preppers need to know is that they can benefit from using similar police equipment. For the average survivalist, police gear has uses beyond law enforcement work.
Why Choose Police-grade Gear?
It’s important to keep quality gear and accessories on hand and police-grade materials can be one way to ensure this quality. Gear that is suitable for military and law enforcement will definitely work for your needs as a survivalist. That’s because these materials have to be top-notch and able to survive day after challenging day on the job.
Gear throughout History
In regards to police gear, like Galls uniforms, Galls boots, and LA Police Gear, we’ve developed immensely from the time when the town marshal entered the saloon and told all officers to check their weapons at the office. But in some ways, we still have a long way to go.
In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that the Sam Browne belt, or suicide strap, was retired.
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The Evolution of gear
Not all old gear is useless these days. Traditions are valuable for law enforcement departments. They can show us where our priorities should be, help us understand where police gear came from, and give us an idea of where we’re heading. While our traditions include the Sam Browne belt (and related systems), there are updated versions available for modern police.
Safety and Changing Style
Most departments these days have gotten rid of the suicide strap for the sake of police officer safety. It left officers open to risks like being swung around or pulled into crowds of unruly protestors. Even so, the traditional Sam Browne attire is still part of the formal dress of some departments for special occasions.
Belts eventually became stiffer to offer support for safety gear and holsters carried by officers. The typical issued duty gun was the revolver in the U.S. until the 1980s, controlling how duty gear was designed. Six rounds were carried in the gun while pouches held 12 more. Later on, speed loaders appeared which totaled up to 18 rounds.
Gradual improvements to police gear happened around that time, mostly related to firearms. But these improvements were gradual. Initially, spare ammo was held by external loops of leather.
While some were included in the holster system, others were held in a leather slab which snapped and folded over the belt. This meant reloading was slow, since only one cartridge could be accessed by the officer at a time. Then came dump pouches, which were small pouches holding up to six rounds a piece.
The Speed Loader
Then the speed loader was introduced. Your primary hand could access it while the other hand rotated the gun, pointing the barrel down. You could then line the new cartridges up using the cylinder, shoving the rounds in place and slapping it shut. The ability to access extra ammo changed again when the semi-automatic duty pistol was adopted.
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The equipment necessary for daily patrol can weigh up to 15 pounds, just including the leather gear. Without the suicide strap still in use, that weight now goes to the officer’s hips.
Until the new millennium, this leather gear didn’t change much except for an increasing load on officer’s belts. This included cell phone cases, radio holders, mace, magazine pouches, flashlight holders, and more.
Then the AccuMold Elite came along (also offered by Galls). This was a product that looked like leather and combined the durability and strength of a synthetic material with the professional look of real leather needed by law enforcement.
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The best part of this new product was that it weighed half as much as traditional leather. Now there was a reduced risk for back injuries for officers, and less concern for risk managers in police departments across the country. And police gear, like that offered by Galls, LA Police Gear, and other brands, consistently gets better as time goes on.
The Importance of Practicality
Traditions and history are definitely morale-boosters for law enforcement officials. This history is, in a sense, what the public still thinks about when they consider police officers and other authority figures. An officer’s uniform matters. But history and tradition are just the first piece of the puzzle.
Practicality is what ultimately matters in police gear. After all, law enforcement officials can’t do their job correctly if they’re uncomfortable or constantly at risk for injury. The advancement of Galls products and other police gear has not only made police officers more suited for their work, but can help arm ordinary civilians for disaster.
The Future of Gear
Some departments in the U.S. and overseas want to stay progressive and up-to-date. As a consequence, they’re re-thinking officer uniforms and related accessories. Instead of sticking with tradition, even when it’s less convenient, they are now considering the officers’ comfort.
Going to casual from traditional can be difficult. It isn’t only the public who might resist this idea, but also department traditionalists who liked things the way they were and don’t want change.
The fact is that most humans just don’t like too much change. This calls for a compromise. The load-bearing vest, or tactical vest, is one example of this.
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The Load-Bearing Vest
One major difficulty has been designing a product that is still suitable for law enforcement instead of looking too “militarized,” since most load-bearing vests were originally military items.
Law enforcement load-bearing vests can move safety equipment up to the vest from the belt. In many cases, the officer’s badge and name can still be displayed in the original position.
A Familiar Look
In some cases, the officer’s uniform still looks the same or at least very similar. Since citizens are accustomed to seeing officers looking a certain way, this is a plus. With a quality vest (like those offered by Galls), cuffs, glove carriers, and magazines can all be secured in pockets at the sides, rear, and front of the vest.
Even Weight Distribution
This distributes weight more evenly and relieves the officer’s waist from too much bulk. Other load-bearing vests include ballistic panel pockets, offering an organized, integrated system that makes life easier for officers.
Thanks to the Internet and online shopping, these items are now available to average citizens. We’re going to show you just where to get the best of the best.
Night Vision Equipment
Night vision is most commonly associated with the military. Pilots use night vision devices when flying helicopters and fighter planes. Soldiers in the Middle East use them to locate and eliminate insurgents. Some vehicles (like unmanned aerial vehicles) also use thermal cameras and related equipment.
Although night vision equipment is less common in law enforcement, they are starting to become more ubiquitous as prices get more affordable. There are many survivalist uses for night vision. In a disaster or crisis, power outages are very likely.
Proper night vision equipment can help you protect your territory and keep you safe, whether you choose to bug out or bug in.
Duty Boots for Police and Survivalists
Quality boots (like Galls boots) are crucial for police officers and survivalists of all stripes. The right shoes can be the difference between being able to stand and walk for hours and hours with no issues, and aching at the end of a long day.
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What can the right pair of tactical hiking boots or work boots do for you?
- Offer long-lasting comfort
- Give you more enjoyment during work tasks
- Help you perform better at work or on the trail
- Keep your body safer in a survivalist situation
- Reduce injuries in your legs and back
Must-have Qualities for Great Duty Boots
Quality shoes matter for law enforcement, and they matter for you too. You might not have considered work boots as something this important, but they play a huge role in your quality of life. When you seek out duty boots, like law enforcement-grade products offered by Galls, LAPolice, and more, look for:
- A good fit for your own comfort
- Suitable boots for your intended use
- Durability and long-lasting materials
- Value for what you’re spending
Tactical pants are similar to the well-known cargo pants, but have been modified in a few ways and designed for professionals like fire fighters, military, police officers, and EMTs.
Unlike cargo pants, tactical pants usually come in solid colors and were worn originally by mountain climbers. They have since evolved into a few different styles.
The Properties of Tactical Pants
Tactical pants typically have thick belt loops, strong enough to carry handcuffs, a large belt, and a sidearm. They are made from lightweight fabrics like poly cotton Ripstop and polyester. They might also come with external pockets for knives and slots at the knee for inserting kneepads.
Within the past 10 years ago, companies like Galls, LA Police Gear, and 5.11 have successfully merged qualities of battle-ready and dress pants to form a new type of duty or casual wear. Although this type of pant is always being amended and improved, you should look for a few key features when selecting quality tactical pants:
A quality pair of tactical pants will support their weight in addition to the equipment you carry in the included cargo pockets. Ripstop fabric will add the necessary durability to your pants for hiking, everyday wear, and harsh survivalist situations. The fabric is often nylon, cotton canvas, polyester-cotton, or similar material woven to stop rips from growing.
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A blend of polyester and cotton is good for wearing year round as it offers mobility and stretch, while cotton canvas material is tough enough to withstand abuse but may not be as comfortable initially.
Tactical pants these days have changed from cargo-style to more efficient and functional, both in terms of looks and use. Most come with cargo pockets included along with pockets for magazines, a knife, and general utility purposes. If you plan to carry a lot of gear, get the pockets reinforced to prevent holes from forming as easily.
Knee Pad Slots
Tactical pants should have knee pad pockets included if you plan to use them for training purposes or duty. You may have to kneel to shoot, crawl through the darkness, or find yourself in another scenario that requires knee pads.
A flashlight is going to be a key tool in your repertoire whether you’re a police officer looking to gear up or an average civilian who wants to be prepared for disaster. With a great tactical flashlight, you can disorient your enemy, stay on the trail in the dark, or do basic night patrol.
But you need to make sure your flashlight is up for these tasks. The following features should be present in a quality tactical flashlight:
The Right Size
You’ll find flashlight of all different sizes under the sun, but for a tactical flashlight, you’ll want to choose a convenient size. In other words, smaller is typically better. This will make it easier to carry on your belt or in your pocket while you’re on the trail.
With a smaller light, you get the benefit of a lighter weight and won’t have to deal with a bulky tool that’s a pain to use.
A Powerful Light
It doesn’t take a high-quality flashlight to illuminate a room. But the point of upgrading to a tactical flashlight is packing more power in your tool. A great tactical flashlight will have several modes you can choose between and be bright enough for disorienting an enemy.
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A Durable Build
You’re going to be using your flashlight a lot, whether your career calls for it or you find yourself in a survival situation. So you need it to be durable and sturdy. Choose a hard metal flashlight that can withstand getting dropped and bumped.
In addition, try to find a waterproof flashlight that will work no matter what weather conditions you find yourself dealing with.
It may go without saying that you’ll want a flashlight that lasts a long time, but I’ll say it anyway. Both the battery used and bulb type will impact your flashlight’s lifespan.
In most cases, LED bulbs are best as they are not only brighter than other lights, but last much longer. In addition, LED bulbs are more resilient and won’t break as easily. You may want to consider looking into rechargeable batteries, too, depending on your needs.
Your tactical knife should be a tool that you’re very familiar with and comfortable using. When you find yourself in an emergency, you’ll ideally be able to whip out your knife without too much thought.
Officers on duty can get used to their folding knife by practicing their hold both with and without gloves. Ideally, you’ll get to the point where your knife feels like a part of you. Here are some features to consider when making a choice, whether you’re an officer or not:
Tactical knives can be found with many different types of grip, including titanium, aluminum, and plastic. If you’re a collector, you may prefer a pretty-looking metal grip, but looks aren’t everything. What matters most is how comfortable the handle feels in your hand.
The Knife Blade
When it comes down to it, the blade on your knife is the feature that matters most. You’ll want to make sure the material is high-quality, the length is suitable for what you need it for, and the blade is sturdy.
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- Folding vs. Fixed: Will you choose a folding knife or a fixed blade? A fixed blade will be better as a prying tool while folding knives are obviously better if portability is your main concern.
- The Knife Edge: The next consideration to make is choosing either a straight or serrated blade. If you think you’ll need to saw through rope or webbing, a serrated blade is best. It’s not quite as important to sharpen these often as it is with straight edges. But on the other hand, you have more choices for how to sharpen your straight edge knife.
Police gear includes a variety of body armor that can also be useful to the average survivalist, like shields, helmets, and tactical vests. These products are carried by brands like Second Chance and Point Blank, and made available through companies like Galls.
The first step for ensuring efficiency in your body armor is making sure it fits correctly. When you find the perfect fit, your armor will be comfortable while offering protective, effective coverage where it matters most. And finding the right fit can be as easy as taking some measurements. You will need someone to help you and, of course, a measuring tape to do this.
Measuring Body Armor
To get accurate results, wear the type of clothing you’ll expect to wear with your armor when you take these measurements. The back and front panels should not touch your accessory pouches, holstered weapon, or your duty belt when you’re standing. When you’re taking measurements, round up instead of down.
Start standing up and measure from .5 inches above your belt up to your collarbone. Measure in the middle of your torso instead of over to either side. Now you will need to measure the back (which is why having a friend help is best), from the top of the belt to the base of your collar. Again, measure from the center instead of to the side.
Next, you’ll need to take some measurements sitting down. Measure .5 inches above the belt to your collarbone. This won’t be the same number you got when you measured standing up as it changes when you’re sitting. It’s equally important to get the torso measurements correct while sitting and standing.
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Next, you’ll need to take your chest measurements. Start by wrapping the tape measure around your chest at the fullest part and begin in the center. Then measure your rib cage while you are breathing in a relaxed fashion. The chest measurements are essentially the same for women and men, but females may need to measure their cup size, too.
Your waist should be measured while you’re standing up. Don’t puff out or suck in, just measure it at the widest point, which will be about 2 inches above your beltline. If your chest measurement is smaller than your waist measurement, choose your body armor size according to your waist measurement.
As soon as you’ve ordered your vest, some adjustments will be in order to ensure the best fit. These adjustments can be made without sacrificing any coverage if you’ve measured correctly and chosen the right size for your body.
Stand up, then adjust the back and front shoulder straps, ensuring that your vest is centered instead of riding up or down. Then adjust the straps on the torso so that your sides are covered and it feels comfortable. Your body armor should feel comfortable both seated and standing.
Weapons in Law Enforcement
Weapons are the lifelines of law enforcement officials. Choosing a subpar weapon is simply out of the question. Whether you’re a police officer or just want to stay safe in a survivalist situation, you need a gun that can enable you to hit your mark and stop attackers, if necessary. The following firearms are popular among police officials:
The M&P 9 by Smith & Wesson
This trusted gun company has been creating firearms for more than a century. Starting out in 1852, Smith & Wesson has been supplying U.S. troops with guns since way back in Civil War times. Because of their reputation, this company has become a top supplier of police forces across the world.
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The M&P 9 (Military and Police 9) is among their most popular firearms. The LA Police department as a whole switched over to it in 2013. This goes to show its quality and reliability. The M&P 9 is perfect for law enforcement officials because it can be personalized.
To start with, it comes with a Pica tinny rail for installing accessories, like laser sights. It’s suitable for left-handed shooters since it has ambidextrous controls.
The Glock 19
The Glock 19 was introduced to the market in 1988 from an Austrian manufacturer. It’s a very lightweight firearm, which made it a hit with police officers. It’s a favorite as an undercover weapon for off-duty cops because it has serious stopping power and accuracy.
- Smaller and Easier to Conceal: A simpler, sleeker model compared to the Glock 17, this made it easier for officers to conceal their weapon. It’s versatile, accurate, and durable. Its simple design makes it easier to clean than other weapons. In addition, it’s suitable for extreme conditions and temperature differences, making it suitable for different climates.
- A Lightweight Option: The Glock 19 has a barrel that is roughly four inches smaller than its predecessor and around seven inches shorter altogether. The gun weighs just about 30 ounces when it’s fully loaded. It isn’t only suitable for undercover cops. A survivalist with the right skill and permit will find this a valuable companion. For extra convenience, it can be worn with a holster.
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The Glock 22
After the Glock 19, the Glock 22 is next in line. These two firearms look similar, but the 22 is a bit longer and heavier than the 19 model. This gun was launched in 1990 and became a top choice for police and military by 2006. It offers more power than the 19 model, but the 19 is definitely easier to conceal. The Glock 22 can shoot both .40-caliber and 9mm ammunition.
Another weapon carried by many law enforcement officers is pepper spray. Also called capsicum spray, this chemical compound is irritating to the nose and eyes, causing temporary blindness, tears, and pain.
It’s used as a self-defense measure, for crowd control by officers, for general policing, and even as a defense against bears and dogs. Officers can use the temporary blindness of subjects to their advantage in a dangerous situation.
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The advantage of pepper spray as a weapon for ordinary citizens is the fact that it requires no permits or legal qualifications. It’s especially suitable for those who aren’t physically strong enough to defend against attackers. However, it’s a good addition to any weapon collection as it can give you a chance to escape in a sticky situation.
Tasers are another common weapon carried by law enforcement officials. They are suitable for bringing down violent attackers without killing them and can be used by ordinary citizens in addition to police officers.
Some may not like the idea of carrying concealed guns, so this is a suitable alternative. Using one on your enemy can cause them to fall to their knees, enabling a quick escape.
If you would like to exercise your right to carry a gun and live in a state where it’s legal, you may benefit from a holster. This will help ensure that the gun doesn’t go off accidentally when you’re carrying it.
Holsters used by law enforcement officials are the best quality and allow officers to quickly access their weapon when they need it and keep it safely stored when they don’t. Comfort also plays a large role and makes a big difference. You can benefit from getting a law enforcement-grade holster.
Cops have access to various types of surveillance equipment, such as cameras and hi-tech alarm systems. You, as an average citizen who wants to be prepared for disaster, can benefit from accessing this same equipment or products that are very similar. This can mean anything from home surveillance systems to keep watch on your house when you’re not there, to an alarm system.
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Another option is hidden cameras inside the house if you frequently have your home or children watched by others. This will help you stay aware if there are any issues you need to know about.
Popular Police Gear Brands- Galls and More
As with any other type of product, there are some trusted brands that have stood the test of time and are now trusted by law enforcement officials, military, and ordinary citizens who want to be prepared for anything. They are:
Whether you’re on police duty or an average person defending your home, you can respond to whatever arises with quality duty gear, public safety attire, badges, holsters, flashlights, body armor, and the appropriate footwear.
Galls has been a trusted supplier for law enforcement officials for almost five decades. Their feature-rich and innovative tools ensure preparedness and safety for those on and off duty. They are among top brands like LA Police, Bages, 5.11 Tactical, Point Blank, Under Armour, Streamlight, Smith & Wesson, and many more.
Supplying the Finest
Galls is there to support public transportation, postal, EMS, fire, security, military, and law enforcement officials every day. They carry a large selection of brands and products, responsive service, competitive pricing, quick delivery, and easy ordering online.
The company has over a million customers each year and provides agencies with personalized web portals for ordering supplies. Galls uniforms, Galls boots, and Galls body armor are all top of the line.
LA Police Gear
LA Police Gear is a single shop that, like Galls, carries gear for survival, camping, military, police, and general everyday needs. Founded by LA cops in 2001, this company has been on a mission to supply officers with great deals. But thanks to the Internet and wide availability of products in our age, people of all hobbies and occupations can benefit from LA Police Gear.
Another trusted name in gear for police is 5.11 Tactical. Crafted to create enhanced mobility for the wearer, outstanding performance, and a professional look, 5.11 products are a cop’s best friend. From durable tactical pants that won’t rip on the job to rugged boots suitable for standing all day, 5.11 gear sets a high standard for police equipment.
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The Importance of Quality Gear
Law enforcement professionals are better able to do their jobs when they can access quality equipment and gear. Whether it’s uniforms from Galls made of the most durable fabric to keep you warm, comfortable, and dry, or weapons to keep you safe, top-notch products are essential.
And this applies to you, as a survivalist, as well. Let’s look at the most important categories to have covered when you’re preparing for disaster or a survivalist scenario:
Guns and Weapons
Quality guns and weapons can mean the difference between life and death in more than one way. Just as police officers will only use knives of the best quality, you should have the same policy. You can keep a folding knife on your person at all times as a general tool and as a backup when you don’t have access to other weapons.
In order to keep your knives in top working shape, try to designate certain knives for certain tasks. Your tactical knife, for example, shouldn’t be used to open boxes as that will dull the blade. Keep your tactical knife ready for emergencies only and get a cheaper knife to use for other everyday tasks.
Self-defense weapons and hunting guns, such as tactical bolt action rifles, are also worth considering. Whether you’re a law enforcement officer or just want to make sure you’re protected and safe in a survivalist situation, you should own a range of weapons.
Uniforms and Apparel
Next, you need to think about quality uniforms and apparel. Even if you aren’t (and don’t plan on becoming) a police officer, you can benefit from the materials they depend on in their daily lives.
Whether you live in a cold climate or plan to be traveling a lot in unpredictable conditions, the correct outerwear (including a tactical jacket) is a must for your needs. Law enforcement outer wear includes breathable material, a waterproof design, trustworthy insulation, and reflective visibility, in some cases.
Mid layers include stand-up collars, wind-blocking fabrics and warm, fleece linings. Making the right choice for this crucial layer will help you adjust to any climate and stay on the move when it matters most. When you maintain your body’s core temperature, you will stay safe, even in the dead of Winter.
Base layers are there to keep your body warm while allowing your skin to breathe. This is possible through moisture-wicking materials that keep sweat off your body. Under armor can mean long sleeve garments, long johns, and more.
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Tactical Boots for Survival
Selecting the right pair of tactical boots, from Galls or another source, can be an intimidating challenge, but it’s well worth the extra time and effort. The right shoes for you will depend on the environment they will be worn in most often. Are you going to be hitting the trail or hiking a lot? Do you need shoes to keep your feet comfortable indoors for hours at a time? Each environment will call for a different type of boot.
Like other law enforcement gear, tactical accessories are crafted with extra attention to detail and superior construction.
Let’s start by looking into military watches. These items should have a few select features:
The entire point of military watches is a tough exterior fit to handle the harshest of conditions. Your choice should offer shock resistance, protection against abrasion, and be crafted from only the highest quality materials. In addition, look for a waterproof option and glass that won’t scratch too easily.
Of course, most people will agree that functionality matters more than looks when it comes to a tactical watch. But your military watch must be a discrete, dark color for camouflage purposes and have a robust makeup. Colors such as olive green, dark grey, or black are best so you can blend in wherever you go and avoid unwanted attention.
Certain tactical watches that don’t have GPS can run for a year on one battery and others even have rechargeable solar batteries. If you need a GPS, your battery won’t last as long, but it could be a worthy tradeoff for this extra feature.
But military watches are just the tip of the iceberg and there are countless tactical items you may need for your bug out bag or out in the field. From gloves to tactical flashlights, and from compasses to tactical pens, you should choose your accessories with care.
Body armor might be the most important item you shop for as it can save your life. Cops choose this carefully by going with brands such as Galls and you should also choose well. The right items will make a huge difference in your work flow or outdoor needs. When your body armor doesn’t fit right, it can’t do its job and won’t keep you comfortable.
If you get the right fit, on the other hand, your armor will give you coverage and comfort at the same time. For optimal results, follow the measuring guidelines we gave you earlier in this article.
If, for some reason, what you chose doesn’t fit, just trade it in for a bigger or smaller size. With something as important as body armor, it’s better to deal with this small hassle than have something that won’t work correctly.
Finding Quality Gear
The most trustworthy gear providers are also those who use the gear. The people making tactical gear for police should understand their users’ needs through testing and wearing the equipment themselves.
Breathability, shape, and comfort are all important factors and law enforcement grade materials are going to be your best bet, regardless of your needs. Law enforcement grade tactical gear will never steer you wrong. Do some research to find out what bases you need to cover before you do your shopping. Then check out Galls or another supplier to cover your bases on this.