How having a knife in his bag helped one officer get a winning edge
When other tools didn’t work during a ‘shots fired’ call, this knife came through
Sponsored by Benchmade Knife Company
By Yoona Ha, PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff
Randy Bedard, a police officer who works abroad in Europe, knows that there isn’t such a thing as a “predictable day” in law enforcement. Officers often have to make the most of what they have to deal with in all kinds of high-pressure scenarios. For Bedard, one day that meant responding to a call that shots were fired in a nearby area.
He never imagined that his knife could be the tool that would help make a critical difference, especially in a “shots fired” scenario, but all of that changed in April 2019.
On that particular day, Bedard received multiple reports that shots were fired and that screaming was heard inside of a building. The place immediately went into lockdown, and Bedard was dispatched among several teams to clear the buildings in question.
“My team didn’t have a breaching kit because we were responding to the scene on foot, so we had to come up with another way to make entry into the three-story building,” said Bedard. “One of my team members had a small glass breaker and attempted to shatter the glass door with it but was unsuccessful. I, on the other hand, recalled that I had my Benchmade Auto Triage Knife with a glass breaker on my gear pouch.”
All it took was two blows with the Auto Triage Knife to successfully breach the glass and make entry through door after door.
“We had to make immediate entry into the facilities, and we were able to do that thanks to the knife I had in hand,” said Bedard.
Shortly thereafter, Bedard and his team cleared the building’s more than 30 rooms and evacuated 20-plus personnel from the area to deem the building safe.
Why thinking ‘purpose-first’ matters
The No.1 advice Bedard has for law enforcement officers in the market for a knife is to think through the scenarios in which you might see yourself leveraging a knife. For instance, Bedard knew that search-and-rescue missions were a possibility, so being armed with a knife with a glass breaker made total sense. On the other hand, if you see yourself only needing the knife for self-defense purposes, then it makes more sense to have a lightweight tool like the Bugout Knife.
“The important factor is to get a knife that you know will help you get the job done,” said Bedard, “so consider all of the possibilities of where and how you’re going to have to use that knife.”
How your blade is made matters
Another piece of advice: Don’t skimp on quality.
“Sure, you can get a knife that’s a quarter of the price, but it may be lacking in durability,” said Bedard, “and in real-life scenarios, the quality of your knife can make or break how successful you are.”
Whether you’re looking for the only knife you’ll ever need in law enforcement or you’re searching for a good complementary knife to add to your collection, make sure to heed the three tips we shared on how to find the right blade.
Like any mission, coming to the line with the right tools, as well as a strategy and plan in place for your knife, can help you, like Bedard, find success during even the most challenging of scenarios.