September 5, 2017

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Inclement Weather Gear

Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement, Corrections

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for law enforcement and corrections.

The choice of inclement weather gear is an important decision that could affect your safety.

Today’s Tip is for law enforcement and custody officers who work in inclementweather. Today’s Tip deals with selecting, and training with, your cold weather and rain gear.  

Some of you, especially my friends in Wisconsin, might be chuckling. Even though some doubt that we actually need it, people in southern California really do wear jackets, coats and gloves. 

Obviously, the outerwear you select can vary by region and depends on what your agency authorizes. The choice of inclement weather gear is an important decision that could affect your safety. Gear that will keep you dry and warm is great. But if you can’t get to and use your equipment while in that gear, being dry and warm isn’t good enough.   

Some jackets have zippered slits to allow access to our handguns. But can you easily access your OC, handcuffs or magazines? If you cannot freely access all of your important equipment, then your uniform is not serviceable. If you cannot find a jacket or coat that allows you to access your equipment, consider having it altered. Where the climate permits, you should try replacing heavy outerwear with thermal underwear. This replacement can help prevent obstructions and improve safety.  

Gloves are another issue. Gloves that are too thick or that don’t fit properly can make it very difficult to manipulate your equipment.  

Once you find the right jacket and gloves, you have to train with them. Have you drawn your gun with your coat on? Have you practiced removing your handcuffs while wearing your jacket? Have you shot at the range with your gloves on?  

Carefully select your cold weather gear and your rain gear. Ensure you can access all your important equipment while wearing it. Then, train. Train. Train.  

That’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off. 

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