Active Shooter Equipment
By Paul Howe, MSG US Army (Retired)
I believe the acceptance of the M-4 rifle system as a patrol rifle has turned the odds in favor of the average patrol officer and his ability to handle a myriad of tactical situations. The next dilemma facing officers and their respective budgets is how to best compliment the M-4 system for a tactical encounter. With the numerous equipment manufacturers catering to every tactical whim, it’s difficult to find a simple, streamlined and cost effective system to outfit patrol officers who respond to active shooter or high-threat situations.
I am going to discuss three major systems or concepts in tactical equipment when employing the patrol rifle. They are systems that I have trained with and employed. Two factors are important in this equation. One is cost and the other is the time it takes for you to put the items on, once you retrieve them from the back of your patrol car.
In order of cost:
Common Equipment for a Tactical Situation
Extra magazines can be standard or use special ammunition as required for the mission. Those who have used flashlights know that lithium batteries go out without warning and spares must be kept close at hand. Radio batteries fail much the same and we should carry spares to keep the lines of communication open. Also, chem-lights and battery powered signaling lights can be use for linkups with friendly elements.
The medical equipment is a must because it will not get to the crisis area without an officer bringing it. As I tell students, dealing with the bad guys is easy. How efficiently we deal with the wounded innocents is where you will make your money. The medical scissors are used for exposing wounds, and tourniquets are used to stop bleeding on extremities. Wound or bandage kits are used to plug the holes and tourniquets are used to stop bleeding. A water bottle can be drained and refilled many times during an operation, providing vital hydration for the officer. Finally, flex ties can help secure multiple suspects. Remember, you are not limited to the equipment list that I included at the beginning of the article. Comfort items such as extra meds, aspirin, etc., go a long way to make the call out go smoothly.
Active Shooter Bag
Time to put on: 3 Seconds
Ammo bag holds four rifle mags and two pistol mags.
Vests - Kevlar and Mesh
Time to put on: Under 10 Seconds
This body armor type vest can be worn with or without the Kevlar inserts and can be outfitted with modular pockets in ergonomic places that help streamline the vest to the individual officer’s body dynamics and shooting techniques.
This mesh net type vest can also be outfitted with modular pockets in ergonomic places that are conducive to individual officer’s body dynamics and shooting techniques.
Time to put on: Under 10 Seconds
Further, train with it during your range practice, getting it out of the car, putting it on and shooting with it. This is the only way to mentally and physically get used to bringing it to the fight.
Finally, I want to thank the folks at Eagle for supplying the equipment for my pictures. They are consummate professionals and have been providing exceptional equipment to the military and law enforcement community for years.
About the Author
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