May 14, 2007
Wear an ear mic
Deputy Jerry Miller, Galveston Co. (TX) SO
Wearing an ear mic not only ensures you get your radio traffic, it also eliminates the need to "secure your mic" while standing with a potential suspect. Criminals are just as knowledgeable -- sometimes more so -- about our codes and police jargon than we are. Allowing a subject to overhear the radio traffic while you are dealing with him/her on the street could potentially cause the otherwise calm subject to become a threat.
On a traffic stop I once made, the dispatcher advised that the vehicle was stolen. Because the subject could not hear my traffic I was able to keep him engaged by issuing him a "written warning." When the additional units arrived on scene the subject was safely taken into custody. That scenario would not have been possible had I not been wearing an ear mic on my portable radio.
Wearing an ear mic also eliminates audible radio crackling while searching a building/residence that will give your position away, usually at the worst possible moment. Wearing an ear mic may take some getting used to, but it is by far the safest way to recieve radio communications.