When it comes to shoes, police officers can be as bad as Imelda Marcos. But at least cops have a reason for collecting so many pairs. You need duty boots for most any weather conditions: wet, dry, hot, cold, or any combination of these. You also need shoes for undercover work, training, off duty, and daily wear.
5.11 Tactical's Tactical Trainers can fill a number of niches. More like athletic shoes than boots, they're comfortable enough for hiking, trail running, or hiking the concrete jungle (a.k.a. shopping). Heck, they even look good enough to wear on a date.
I have been wearing the 5.11 Tactical Trainers for the last several weeks at work, for casual attire, on the range, and even out on a date or two. They are as comfortable as a running shoe, albeit not as light, but they are more supportive. On the range and hiking the trails for a shooting competition they protect feet from protruding rocks, the toe cap keeps toes from getting beaten up going into a prone shooting position, and the mesh uppers are comfy on hot days.
What impressed me most about the Tactical Trainers is that they fit like my favorite training shoes. What makes them better is they are far more durable thanks to a very aggressive Vibram sole, which provides traction on the wettest surfaces. This outsole is also quiet when worn indoors, and it doesn't leave black scuff marks like many other boots do.
Because it is stylish, the Tactical Trainer doesn't scream cop and looks good paired with your favorite khakis or 5.11 Tactical Pants. You will find the 5.11 Tactical Trainer is a boot designed to fit your life and lifestyle.
Premier Rescue Knife
I have carried a knife longer than I have carried a handgun, because a knife is far more versatile than any sidearm. I have yet to find a SIG Sauer or Glock that can cut my sandwich, peel an apple, or remove a seat belt; and knives do that and more.
This year Remington is making a major move into the duty knife market with its Premier Rescue. It's built for those who wear a uniform, no matter what unit you work for.
There are two versions of the Premier Rescue folding knife. I looked at the two-bladed model built for rescue and daily use. Its automatic blade is a hook blade with a cutting edge running from the hook's inner edge along the inner spine of the blade. This blade will make short work of a harness or seat belt or quickly cut a pant leg or shirt sleeve should you need to insert an IV.
The manual opening blade is a modified sheep's foot. This means the front of the blade is not pointed but rounded so you can safely use it next to the skin-something you can't do with a drop-point blade. A portion of the sheep's foot is serrated should you need to cut heavier material or something such as a small tree branch.
A distinctive feature of the Premier Rescue is the Foreprene grip's anti-slip inserts. While they give you a solid grip, they also glow when you shine your favorite flashlight on them. This will vastly reduce the chances of losing the knife on a dark night.
Also built into the Premier Rescue is a window breaker. I found it makes short work of side windows and front windshields. Yes, I tested it on a few junkyard wrecks.
This knife is too large to be considered a "pocket" knife so it comes with a serious nylon sheath that can be worn on a duty belt or attached to a raid vest with a MOLLE strap. Remington's Premier Rescue is a knife you will want to keep close at hand.
Wheeled Duffel Bag
One thing I have found in 20 years of government service having worn a number of uniforms is that we continue to carry more and more gear. It gets harder and harder to pack everything we need in a standard duty bag. Especially when you need cold or wet weather gear or you need to carry your raid/call out kit.
With so much to lug around, how do you carry all your gear and not get worn out? Uncle Mike's has come up with a solution, the Wheeled Duffel. It's a large rolling bag with a collapsible pull handle. While it may look like a black rolling suitcase, it is much more.
The main pocket is large enough for a full raid kit: body armor, gas mask, helmet, web gear, etc. If you aren't packing that heavy it will easily carry a spare uniform, lunch, drinks, your daily gear, and even a winter coat or rain gear.
To secure your large gear there are tie-down straps and you can secure small items such as batteries in the mesh pouch on the side of the main pocket.
To organize small items one of the side pockets has small interior pouches. These are large enough to accommodate a GPS, camera, MP3 player, etc. This pocket can also store a riot baton or rain jacket. The other side pocket is actually two pockets closed with one zipper. The pouches are large enough to fit a gas mask, base layers for cold weather, a sweater, or your ticket book.
Although it's the smallest, the pocket located on the pull handle end of the bag fits a surprising amount. I found that three 30-ounce Nalgene bottles will fit in here with room to spare.
The older I get the less I want to struggle with my gear. Uncle Mike's Wheeled Duffel Bag will make carrying daily duty gear easier. It's sure better than struggling with a shoulder bag.
Genetyk Protective Eyewear
Rudy Project has rapidly become a major player in tactical eye protection. Best known for providing the sunglasses of choice for world class bicyclists, Rudy Project makes several glasses that have become favorites with law enforcement and military operators the world over.
One reason for this is the lenses can be easily swapped to accommodate changing lighting conditions. Another reason is Rudy Project offers several pairs that have an insert for prescription lenses, which is most important for those of us who are optically challenged.
The Genetyk is one of the newest in the company's line of glasses built for hard use. This pair is a "wrap" style with one lens/shield instead of separate lenses. Many shooters and tacticians prefer the "wrap" because it is somewhat stronger.
If you are concerned about breaking the lenses of the Genetyk, don't be. Rudy Project uses its proprietary ImpactX lens. These lenses are virtually unbreakable and impervious to most common chemicals. Various pairs of my Rudy Projects have ImpactX lenses and they have been hit with shrapnel from steel targets, various flying debris, tree branches, and more, and have yet to break.
If you should damage your lenses, simply send them back to Rudy Project with a check for $24.95-mainly to cover shipping and handling-and you will have new ones on the way back to you.
The frame fits securely thanks to rubberized arms. It has been my experience that Rudy Project glasses don't slide down your face. The arms can be gently bent to give you a more snug fit if you find them to be too large; and the nose piece is adjustable as well.
The Genetyk can be purchased as just the glasses or as a kit with three interchangeable lenses-ImpactX Photo clear (photo chromatic), Laser Black, and Photo Red-in a protective zippered case. This set will meet your needs for most lighting conditions. The ImpactX is a good lens for round the clock wear to protect your eyes from debris, spit, and various other airborne objects you encounter on duty.
Genetyk protective eyewear from Rudy Project-as a kit or on its own-will serve you well on and off duty.
Scott Smith is a former federal police officer for the Department of Veteran's Affairs who currently serves as a reserve officer and is a contributing editor to POLICE.