For Cops, By Cops
with Loraine Burger
Buckle Keeper secures duty belt, conceals cuff key
The Buckle Keeper is a short strip of material that wraps around your duty belt to keep it in place and secures the buckle so that it can’t be undone
Business Name: 1st Responder Tactical
Product: The Buckle Keeper
Officer/ Department: Boca Raton Police / FTO / Bill Kilcoyne
What is your signature product?
The Buckle Keeper is a short strip of material that wraps around your duty belt to keep it in place and secure the buckle so that it can’t be undone. It’s available in leather, basket weave, and nylon materials and has a reversible hook-and-loop side so that a flag patch or other emblem can be added. The leather and basket weave versions both have a hidden pouch on the inside to secure a handcuff key.
Where did the idea for your product come from?
When I started in law enforcement about 7 years ago I didn’t like the way my duty belt fit, and I noticed other officers’ belts drooped down and moved around a lot. I’m a military veteran and a lot times in the military we’d find ourselves taking a product and using what we had to make it better. So, I had decided there has to be a way to make these duty belts fit better. So I went out and started buying the materials to make them, and it got the attention of other officers.
How did that idea turn into a product?
I started off making hundreds by hand, but it became so time-consuming, so I found a nylon manufacturer in Chicago and a leather manufacturer in Canada and submitted a patent for the Buckle Keeper.
Are there other products out there like this one?
There are duty belt keepers, which are thinner strips of material that can adhere to the sides of belt, which I still use in addition to the Buckle Keeper. They can’t attach to the front, they have too much girth. I bring my Buckle Keeper to tradeshows and no one has ever seen a product quite like it. We sell to law enforcement in 28 states and 5 countries.
How did you test it out?
I brought handmade ones in to work, had guys on the squad test them and they’d give me feedback. I was hot-cutting the nylon at first and they would fray, so I figured out how to fix that. They were my guinea pigs, they helped me perfect the length, I made my own packaging.
Where can they be purchased?
I sell them at tradeshows directly, and they can be purchased on Bucklekeeper.com. All three versions are $19.99 each and ship for free.
What’s next for 1st Responder Tactical?
We have two products in the pipeline. One product will be designed for evacuations during mass casualty incidents, and the other is for quickly identifying first responders in all types of different clothing.