cops

Visiting Detective Lexi Sobado – “Every Day Carry (EDC) for Police”

 

VisitingDetective-LexiPuzzle

Lexi Sobado and I crossed professional paths again while I was working a case that required a bit of psychic know-how. Lexi grew up in Washington D.C. and has special out-of-the-box thinking that earned her a job as a Puzzler for Iniquus. She solves the crimes that put American interests at risk. Known as Lynx on the job, Lexi works with a team, Strike Force, led by the man in Lexi’s life, Striker Rheas.

 

She had come up from D.C. on a case of her own and Sheila and I put her up for the night. We laughed, shared the usual war stories of law enforcement – the “my gal was badder than your guy” kind. And, then we talked shop for a bit.

 

My police department was stuck. We couldn’t find a suspect and the trail had run cold. We had solid evidence pointing to him, but he got away before we could arrest him. The case involved a missing husband worth big bucks, ransom money and a frantic family. Enter Lexi. In between munching on one of Sheila’s chocolate muffins, Lexi redirected my thinking on the husband. I’m happy to say that we found the hubby less than a day later. Turns out that the husband was running a scam and wasn’t missing at all. He was hiding out with his new girlfriend and the suspect we had been chasing was in on it. What a pair of bums! I doubt that the wife will be weeping for him while he does his stint in prison.

 

Lexi has been following Kerrian’s Notebook and she pointed out that I’ve never posted the basic gear that a cop carries around. My bad. So here is Lexi’s contribution to the site. Thanks, Lexi, for filling in a gap for us. 🙂

 

Duty Belt

Disadvantages

  • Weight – upward of 30 lbs. (think one-year-old baby) many of the belts are made of leather, though modern uniforms often use nylon to be lighter and washable (think body fluids). 
  • Gravity – with all of that weight, the belt wants to slip down. “Belt keepers” circle the duty belt sometimes referred to as a Sam Browne, to hold it snugly to the officer’s dress belt. These are snapped into place.

Advantage – 

  • Having equipment at the handy.

Typical EDC (every day carry)

  • Pepper Spray
  • Semi-automatic pistol in a security holster
  • Magazines (clips)  
  • Phone
  • Flashlight
  • Mini-flashlight (typical preparedness saying “One is none and Two is one.”)
  • Asp
  • Portable radio
  • Taser
  • Handcuffs 
  • Handcuff keys
  • Zip ties
  • Glove pouch (latex)
  • Bullet resistant vest (required by some jurisdictions adds about 5 lbs to the already 10-15 lb duty belt)
  • By individual discretion – back up gun (police personal gun often in an ankle holster)
  • By individual discretion knife/utility tool such as a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman.
  • By individual discretion a kubotan

 

The Patrol Vehicle

CruiserInteriorDSC_2259

 

  • Mode of transportation
  • Mobile office
  • Equipment storage

 

 CruiserInteriorComputerDSC_2255_2

 

 

Modifications might include:

CruiserInteriorShotgunDSC_2258

  • Push bumpers 
  • Rifle mounts
  • Prisoner partitions
  • Specialized locking systems
  • Wiring systems which support the add ons
  • Hidden lighting systems
  • Bar lights
  • Weapons lockboxes
  • Camera equipment
  • Sirens
  • Radio equipment
  • Computer terminals (called MDT for Mobile Data Terminal)
  • For officer safety, the light that usually comes on when opening the door is often disconnected.

 

In the Trunk of the Patrol Vehicle:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • First Aid Kit
  • Shotgun 
  • Gas mask/protective suit
  • AEDs or Automatic External Defibrillator (at around $1200 these are slow to getting in each vehicle)
  • Traffic cones
  • Flares
  • Flotation devices
  • Rechargeable flashlight
  • Snow chains

 

Other Equipment might include:

  • Radar 
  • Alco-Sensor (for initial analysis of blood alcohol levels)
  • Tint meter
  • Ballistic shield
  • Pepperball gun – this shoots round pellets (like paintball pellets) filled with a powder form of pepper spray. Shot at the feet the powder will spray up to disperse a crowd; hit in the chest of an aggressor or suicidal person it gives the officers time to take non-lethal action.

 

Thanks, Lexi! Have a safe trip home. Don’t eat all the muffins at once. 😉

 ~~~~~~~

Many thanks to Fiona Quinn for visiting with us again at Kerrian’s Notebook and sharing the great list of every day equipment a law enforcement officer might use. She’s one of our favorite people, so please check out her website, connect with her on social media, and buy her books.  🙂FionaQuinnFiona Quinn is the creator of the Lynx Series, featuring Lexi Sobado.

VisitingDetectiveLexi4Books

Fiona Quinn Books

Fiona Quinn writes Smart Sexy Suspense.

The series is available on Amazon, along with the other books and short stories she has written.

Please visit http://www.fionaquinnbooks.com/ for more information about Fiona.

Her fascinating blog can be found at www.thrillwriting.blogspot.com

Want to connect on Twitter? @fionaquinnbooks

 

*Photo credits:

Patti Phillips – interior cruiser shots

Wikipedia and Fiona’s website – all others

 

 

 

 

KN, p. 144 “Who are the Texas Rangers?”

TexasRangersMountedStatueIMG_3585

Our cross country trip to visit sis in Texas wound down with a stop in Waco, about 200 miles southeast of Wichita Falls. The destination was the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum, built to celebrate the storied Rangers and home to several thousand artifacts and impressive bronze statues displayed throughout the complex.

TexasRangerStatueIMG_3513_2

Guided tours are the usual way to see the exhibits, and a movie about the history of this colorful organization is a great way to start the visit. We have been to dozens of historical sites over the years and seen many informational presentations, but none quite like this. The Rangers have had moments that were less than stellar during their nearly 200 year existence, and while the movie generously praises the many successes of the group, it does not flinch from relating the scandals that tarnished their reputation during part of the last century. Happily, varying the organizational style and recruitment techniques since then has worked to make the Texas Rangers a strong law enforcement entity, respected around the world.

 

A bit of history:

With the blessing of the Mexican government, a colony of about 300 families was created at the Northern edge of Mexico in the early 1800s, with the reputed Mexican goal that it would have a bigger claim to the contested land. This outpost was also supposed to act as a buffer between Comanche territory and Hispanic holdings. However, attacks on the settlement became so violent and frequent that in 1823, Steve Austin (with permission from Mexico) hired a group of men to keep the families safe and protect the frontier from Indians, bandits and other marauders. With that mandate, the Texas Rangers were born. They are the oldest state law enforcement agency in the USA.

 

In the beginning, the Rangers were mostly farmers, not cowboys, and had to provide their own horses and guns. The newly formed band was battling against the best light cavalry in the world, the Comanche Indians, and had to learn how to fight on horseback, rather than as foot soldiers in the tradition of English linear formations of battle they were used to. I’m more of a stand-and-shoot kinda guy, and have only ridden a horse while it walked very slowly, so the idea of having any kind of accuracy with a rifle while on a galloping animal? Boggles the mind.

 

The Comanches and other native tribes were determined to keep the settlers from gaining a bigger foothold and fiercely defended their territory. While some Native Americans today dispute the way ownership of the land was handled back then, that area was a political geographical hotbed at the time, with several governments claiming rights to the territory.

 

When fighting became too intense and/or widespread for the original few dozen men to handle, others volunteered to help or were hired temporarily, and it was possible to serve as a Texas Ranger in the Frontier Battalion for as little as six months at a time. There were spies, scouts, mounted riflemen – as varied as the needs of the campaign at hand. The men were promised $1.25 a day, to be paid when Austin raised enough money. That early bunch was the stuff of novels and movies – larger than life characters, living on the open range as they assisted the army, making decisions on their own, saving lives and keeping the peace, whenever they were called upon to do so.

 

TexasRangerCampsiteIMG_3554

Texas became a Republic in 1836, then a State in America in 1845, and the role of the Rangers changed as the political climate and the growing population required.

 

We were surprised to hear how few Texas Rangers there have been. In times of heavy conflict, the ranks swelled to 450, but after funding cuts and being split into four companies statewide in 1901, there were only 80 men in total. A few years ago, the numbers rose to 100, and even now in 2015, there are still only 150 commissioned Rangers for the entire State of Texas. That’s less than one Ranger for each of the 254 counties in the State.

TexasRangerSayingIMG_3512

Having said that, there’s a definite air of confidence surrounding each of the Rangers we met. You never doubt that they have the experience, the training and the skills to handle any situation that arises. One of the legends that feeds the mystique is a statement attributed to Capt. Bill McDonald. McDonald was sent to Dallas to prevent a prize-fight from being held. A rowdy crowd was getting out of hand, and when he arrived alone, he told the alarmed mayor, “Ain’t I enough? There’s only one prize-fight!”

 

In 1935, the Texas Rangers came under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Safety and the Senior Ranger reports directly to the Director of the DPS. These days, the 150 commissioned, active-duty Rangers are divided into companies spread across the State. They are located in Houston, Garland, Lubbock, Waco, McAllen, San Antonio, and ElPaso, with the central headquarters in Austin, the state capitol.

 

Click on the links for additional information:

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/TexasRangers/

http://thetexasrangers.org/

http://www.texasranger.org

 

Next time: “What does a Texas Ranger do?”

 

*Photos by Patti Phillips, taken in Waco, Texas

KN, p. 138 “Cold Weather Gear for Cops”

 

It’s cold out there. It’s been cold for months, with snow and ice and freezing rain getting in the way of daily life. Cops in Florida rarely have to deal with a drop in temperature, but almost every other state in the USA has a winter of some kind. That means, cold weather traffic stops, cold weather arrests, suspect chases in the snow, recovering evidence in bad weather conditions, and the list goes on. Just because the wet stuff is falling out of the sky doesn’t mean that crime stops. It may slow down a bit – after all,  the criminals have to get around on the same slippery roads that we do – but unless there is an all out blizzard, somebody is still trying to get away with something.

 

Cops on street patrol need to stay warm while tromping through snowy sidewalks and answering calls for help. Other police officers will be responding to traffic accidents caused by slippery, ice and snow-covered roads.

 

How do they stay warm while being outside for hours at a time, often with no way to get inside to warm up or dry off until the shift is over or the accident is cleared?

 

They wear layers of clothes made of special materials that shed moisture or wick it away from the skin. They wear hats that cover the ears in below freezing weather. They wear flexible gloves, also made from great materials. They wear watch caps or skull caps. In other words, they wear clothes that you might see on hunters or skiers or guys and gals that are used to spending time in the bitter cold.

 

They use common sense and keep their heads covered. I would add: keep the neck opening covered as well. That helps keep the body heat from escaping and being wasted. A long time ago when I was still skiing, a savvy instructor told us to wrap scarves around our necks and we would stay warmer that way. It seemed like an easy fix to stop me from shivering and it worked.

A great liner for a winter parka is a fleece zip-out for the really cold days. It adds a layer of protection against the wind, and if designed correctly, can be worn alone. I wear my fleece liner as a jacket when playing golf on chilly days.

 

Gore-Tex is used in the firefighter uniforms and police officers also benefit from its reliable waterproof and windproof features. Parka length jackets are popular because they cover the back down to the tailbone, really important when the wind is howling and the snow is blowing. Some of the parkas have quilted liners, some have pile lining, but the best ones are warm, without being bulky.

 

You can bundle up and have your body stay nice and toasty while working outside in blustery weather, but if your feet are uncomfortable, you will be miserable all day long. Take it from me, ya gotta have a pair of great waterproof boots that flex from heel to toe, as well as being non-slip. There are several great designs being made these days that allow law enforcement officers to run comfortably and more safely if they have to get through the woods or over uneven, snow covered surfaces quickly. The high boots work best for me and a couple of companies make a side zip version of that.

 

Another cold weather concern is the guns. Obviously, a law enforcement officer needs to be able to rely on the firearms to be ready to fire when needed. The only way to do that is to make sure it is properly cleaned and maintained. See “Did you clean your gun this week?” here.

 

 

Beyond the actual cleaning, extreme temperatures affect a gun’s performance because of the oil/lubricants used. I have it on good authority that the best cold weather oil/lubricant is from Remington and is supposed to work to -40F degrees. Some guys I know never clean their guns, but then they don’t have to rely on them in cold weather either. But, a great lubricant will help protect the gun from the extreme temperatures. Checking/cleaning it periodically will help prevent it from accumulating gunk during the winter.

 

Frostbite harms the fingers and toes, but hypothermia (body core temperature dropping too low) can kill. Better to be protected than injured or dead.

 

For more information:

 

www.blauer.com

www.ehow.com/how_7406515_proper-care-cold-weather-storage.html

www.tacticalgear.com

 

Photo credits:

Snowy gate: Patti Phillips

Fleece liner: Blauer catalog

Glock parts: Wikipedia

 

 

 

Scroll to Top