April 20, 2010
Gear and considerations for tactical silence
Submitted by PoliceOne staff
In many tactical situations, like building searches, silence is a crucial part of your effectiveness and, more importantly, your safety. Here are a five things to consider and some low cost products you can buy that will help stealth operations:
Rattling keys are a sure giveaway. Consider purchasing a key silencer, which can start at about $5.
If your watch has an audible alarm or if it's set to alert on the hour, consider either disarming the sound or getting another watch. Check sporting goods stores for a watch that has a vibrating alarm, which are popular with hunters.
3. Loose change
If your pocket is full of loose change, every step you take runs the risk of giving away your position, particularly if you've got other metal objects in your pockets and you're walking up or down stairs or making other robust leg movements. Your best bet is to simply keep your pockets clear of noisy objects, but if you need to carry change, consider getting a pocket change holder. You can find them on the Internet for less than $5.
4. Belt and boots
Listen to your duty belt when you walk. Is it rattling and creaking with every step you take? If so, evaluate what might be making the noise and see if you can make adjustments to your belt itself, your gear holders or even your configuration that will quiet things down. Same things with your boots. They need to be durable and tough, but being quiet is important, too. If they’re making enough noise when you’re trying to walk quietly to be a problem, try to figure out why and take steps (like conditioning leather) to eliminate as much noise as possible.
5. Cell phones and other electronic devices
Remember to turn them completely down or off when stealth is critical! You’ve got a lot on your mind when you're entering a tactical situation and the idea of silencing a ringer or shutting down a personal electronic device can easily slip your mind. The last thing you want to have happen is to be scrambling to silence a ringer when a suspect may be lurking right around the corner.