Checklist: Waterproofing your gear

Waterproofing is designed to ensure that the officers assigned to water conditioned areas can survive and work safely in waterborne environments. Here is a list of optimal duty gear to be worn in waterborne environments:
Leather, ballistic nylon or foam molded duty belt with belt keepers

• Ensure nylon or synthetic leather is water proof or resistant.
• Scotch guard can reinforce all nylon gear.
• Allow for easy on and removal.

Firearm holster with actual weighted training firearm (lanyard recommended)

• Check to see if firearm will fire under water.
• Check to see if holster allows for easy drawing your firearm in the water.
• Check the retention rate of your firearm in the water.

Handcuffs and case with key

• Must check to ensure cuffs are water resistant.
• Must use oil lubricant on cuffs weekly (at minimum) to prevent rust.
• Ensure officer have extra sets of keys to their cuffs.
• Back up cuffs are recommended.
• If using flex-cuffs ensure officer has access to a cutter.

Impact Weapon and Carrier

• Ensure officer can manually open baton on command.
• Must use an oil lubricant as needed to prevent rust.
• Ensure baton has a safety power grip for control.
• Metal/aluminum, expandable and side handle batons are not as dependable in the water as straight sticks and rapid rotation batons.

Assigned concealable body armor (heat seal recommended)

• Ensure vest is heat sealed to limit moisture in vest.
• Check vest for buoyancy levels.
• Check vest for water retention.
• Check vest for added weight when in water.
• Check vest for ballistic protection if submerged in water and time periods.
• Check vest for increased or decreased flexibility.
• Most vests float!

Radio with case (waterproof recommended)

• Check radio for water proof or resistant.
• Ensure radio’s frequencies are reachable to station from area assigned to patrol and KNOW the dead spots.
• Beware of voice lapel/mike cable if in a struggle.

Hat (if used)

• Hat is recommended for protecting the head from heat.
• Cloth or mesh is recommended to allow heat to reflect and not absorb heat.
• If allowed, a chin strap for easy removal.
Pants and Shirts

• Ensure clothing is checked for buoyancy and flexibility when submerged in water.
• Clothing should be reflective to light if possible.
• Allow for easy wear and removal if needed.
• Lighter weight pants are recommended.


• Should not restrict hands in gripping and controlling a subject.
• Should allow the officer to control and deploy their firearm and gear when needed.
• Should allow for easy wear and removal.


• Check gloves for buoyancy and flexibility when submerged in water.
• Check socks for water retention when submerged.
• Allow for easy wear and removal.


• Check footwear buoyancy and flexibility when submerged in water.
• Footwear should be reflective to light.
• Allow for easy wear and removal.
• Mid- or high-top ankle protection is recommended.

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