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Elbeco's Summit II is constructed from Hiptex 3000 for the outer shell and is waterproof and windproof. The seams are sealed to ensure water doesn't migrate through. So you can be seen on those gray dark winter days and nights, the jacket can be reversed to its ANSI/ISEA Class II side. This is a bright yellow with two-inch Scotchlite by 3M on the body and sleeves. This jacket lights up like a neon sign when light hits it. The Summit II gives officers high visibility when working DUI and traffic enforcement checkpoints.

Wet Weather Wear

What should you consider when looking at outerwear for duty or most any foul weather? First, versatility. Because quality outerwear is expensive, it needs to serve for at least three seasons out of the year. The second item to consider is whether the outer jacket is truly waterproof or just water resistant; there is nothing worse than being cold and wet. Last is the price. If the clothing breaks the bank it will cause issues.

Officers arriving at the Tacoma Dome to pay homage to the four slain Lakewood police officers left patches to show solidarity. Pool photo via Seattle Times.

Lakewood Police Memorial

Nearly 20,000 officers from Washington state, the nation, and Canada gathered at the Tacoma Dome to pay homage to the service of the four Lakewood Police Department officers who were killed in a coffeeshop in late November, before their shift. The memorial service featured tributes to Sgt. Mark Renninger, Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens, and Greg Richards. The officers were remembered for their commitment to public service.

Tactical Systems' HD can handl;e rough terrain, climb common household stairs and tow up to a 300-pound load. It also has a range of 1,200 feet and an on-board video system that can capture eight hours of footage using a pan/tilt infrared video camera that operates in low-light conditions. It can capture images up to one mile away (line of sight).

Tactical Robots

If you think robots are just for bomb disposal, think again. Police robots are often used to handle IEDs, but they can be used in other arenas that are inhospitable to humans. Robots can be used to reach a barricaded subject or hostages and carry information or evidence back out without sending an officer into the line of fire. They can also provide enhanced surveillance and deploy lethal or less-lethal weapons.

Lenco produces the B.E.A.R. (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response). The B.E.A.R. is built on a commercial truck chassis, using commercial parts, that makes it mechanic-friendly and brings warranty support from the manufacturer. The vehicle features certified hardened steel armor and ballistic glass that's capable of multiple hits, blast-resistant floors, specially designed gunports, roof hatches and multiple ingress/egress doors. The B.E.A.R.'s larger size allows up to 15 personnel to be transported and 25 to 30 persons to be evacuated. This is an ARV with multiple uses, including emergency/hostage rescue, TEMS, etc. The interior compartment is capable of housing the logistics needs of most SWAT teams.

Armored Rescue Vehicles

In the past decade, a new wave of commercial ARVs specifically built for law enforcement has hit the market. Few agencies could afford these big-ticket items prior to then, so initially the expense made it slow-going for the police armored vehicle industry. Then 9/11 changed law enforcement's attitude, and the formation of the Department of Homeland Security and its grant programs led to unprecedented funding for local law enforcement equipment, including ARVs. Responding to this increased demand, ARV manufacturers are developing the next generation of ARVs to meet the needs of contemporary tactical officer.

At engagement distances from a few yards out to 50 yards, you cannot beat a red dot. When you are at contact distance to 10 yards, simply put the target in the tube of the sight and you will get a hit. By the way, this technique was developed by I.P.S.C. shooters, and their performance was the driving force behind the military adopting Aimpoint red dot sights.

Rifle Optics

When it comes to gear and gadgets for duty applications, many of us are drawn to the coolest, most expensive items. That's true of weapons and it's true of weapon accessories such as optics. But what's more important is to find the right optics to fit your mission. Options include red dot sights, variable focal length short scopes often used on shotguns, and of course true precision scopes meant for use on a precision rifle.

The AP4 Panther Carbine from DPMS Panther Arms is an excellent basic patrol rifle built on an M4 platform. With a 16-inch chrome-moly-lined contour barrel, the AP4 is suitable for both close-quarter combat and counter-sniper applications. Other features include GlacierGuards hand guards, a flat top receiver with Picatinny rail, and a telescoping fiber-reinforced six-position buttstock.

Patrol and SWAT Rifles

Ever since the 1997 North Hollywood bank robbery and shootout, the popularity of rifles in patrol operations has exploded. Rifle manufacturers have capitalized on this demand, and they are now making a variety of rifles specifically designed for patrol and SWAT operations. Here's a quick look at some of the long guns now available for service in law enforcement.

5.11's TDU Shirts are designed to exceed all MILSPEC requirements. Each features a covered placket, 5.11's patented hidden-document pockets, Velcro-closure chest pockets, and rear bi-swing shoulders. Elbows are double-reinforced and come with removable neoprene elbow pads. Like the pants, TDU shirts are triple-needle stitched and treated with Teflon. The shirt is available in long-sleeve, short-sleeve, and tall versions in either 6.14-ounce ripstop or 5.78-ounce twill. Also available in the TDU line is the 5.78-ounce poly-cotton twill TDU Jumpsuit. The design incorporates features like 5.11's hidden document pockets, BBS-compatible cargo pockets, removable knee and elbow pads, triple-stitching, and generous bartacking.

Tactical Uniforms

Traditional BDUs (Battle Dress Uniforms) aren't nearly as common as they used to be. But the idea of wearing an alternative uniform that's combat ready-originally borrowed from the military-is more popular than ever, as evidenced by the assortment of new BDUs, tacpants, and jumpsuits available for law enforcement.

The big news from American Technologies Network (ATN) is the company's proprietary White Phosphor Technology (WPT). ATN night vision products that feature WPT offer the user a black-and-white view instead of the green of most systems. The company says the black-and-white image output provides clearer information about contrast, shapes, and shadows. WPT is now available in ATN's PVS14/6015 tactical monocular, NVM-14-WPT multifunctional pocket scope/goggle, Mars4-WPT and Mars6-WPT medium- to long-range weapon sights, and on the FIITS14-WPT thermal imaging system. ATN's WPT systems have an estimated tube life of 10,000 hours.

Night Vision and Thermal Imaging

There was a time when night vision tools and thermal imaging cameras were so cutting edge and so expensive that only the military and the FBI had access to them. Today, this equipment is playing a greater role in local law enforcement operations. It's less expensive, though still not cheap, and it's much easier to use. Here's a quick look at some of the most innovative products now available in the night vision and thermal imaging market.

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