Magazine article Law & Order

Chiefs and the Buyer's Guide

Magazine article Law & Order

Chiefs and the Buyer's Guide

Article excerpt

What do chiefs and sheriffs most urgently need to buy? We put that question to a number of top administrators in departments from coast to coast, ranging in staffing from 10 officers to 250 officers. "You can't get more officers, more overtime, more gasoline or a larger training budget. Other than that, what do you need the most?"

Most chiefs asked for either in-car video systems or upgraded video systems, i.e., a move up in technology from VHS to the DVD systems. If your patrol vehicles don't have in-car cameras at all, you are not alone. Even still, most existing cameras are based on old technology. The new cameras have amazing capabilities.

Most chiefs wanted another less-lethal option, either in every vehicle, or on every gun belt. Almost every officer has the option of OC spray or batons. Some officers have access to beanbag-style, shotgun-fired impact munitions. Some chiefs asked for these less-lethal munitions in each car. Most, however, specifically mentioned the laser®. And, they want it for every officer, not just sergeants and supervisors.

Most chiefs also asked for personal protective equipment in every vehicle. Some departments have already tapped into grants for this gear or have obtained the requisite training that includes masks and respirators, but this has certainly not happened with all departments. In fact, with the "average" department (25 officers), as a rule, this has not happened.

Upgraded soft body armor was frequently mentioned. Most chiefs are aware of the 5-year replacement rule. …

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