For more than a decade now it has been American law enforcement doctrine for patrol officers to respond immediately and not wait for SWAT at the scene of any active shooter incident. This is one reason why many agencies now equip at least some of their patrol officers with rifles.
Active shootings are also a reason why many law enforcement agencies are now issuing a personal trauma kit (PTK) to each of their officers. These kits contain emergency medical tools such as tourniquets, hemostatic bandages, and shears that can be used by officers to save lives, including their own. But one concern many chiefs and sheriffs have about PTKs is making sure that the kit is with their officers when its needed.
Recently, the Los Angeles Police Department came up with a novel way to ensure its rifle-equipped officers take their trauma kits with them when they have to respond with their rifles. LAPD decided to incorporate the first-aid gear into a rifle magazine carrier, reasoning that very few officers would want to deploy at a critical incident without ammo.
Of course, the agency was not equipped to make the product itself. So it held a product evaluation between multiple police product manufacturers to see which one could produce the best kit. The winning entry in that evaluation was the Tuff Active Shooter Kit (T.A.S.K.) with P.T.K. manufactured by Chula Vista, Calif. -based Tuff Products.
Natt Stevens, founder and CEO of Tuff Products, says the specifications given to the companies bidding for the agency's business were fairly simple. "They basically just told us what they needed to put inside it. So we purchased all of the items that were going inside. We then plotted them out to maximize space and made a prototype to get the concept down. Then we made samples and submitted them for overall evaluations."
Stevens believes that the testing was rigorous. "They issued the kits to different officers for testing in training scenarios held at their rifle range. Those officers used our kits and probably abused them, and then we got the feedback," he says.
Critiques from the testing officers of the Tuff Products T.A.S.K. with P.T.K. were positive, according to Stevens. "They were really happy with the design and had one request, to allow officers to use both 20- and 30-round magazines, which we accomplished," he says.
The T.A.S.K. with P.T.K. is a leg rig that holds four AR-15/M4 magazines, EMT shears, latex gloves, surgical tape, modular bandage, tourniquet, and a chest seal. It's made of rugged 1680-denier black ballistic nylon and double-layered scuba webbing.
Stevens says one of his goals for the T.A.S.K. with P.T.K. was to make it live up to his company's name. And it is "tuff." The foundation for the kit's toughness is its heavy-duty 1680 ballistic nylon construction. "This ballistic nylon is so strong that when you cut it and try to rip it, it's almost impossible to rip," Stevens explains. "We use this material on a lot of the products we build because it is so strong."
Another Tuff Products signature touch on the T.A.S.K. with P.T.K. is its attachment system. The kit features the company's patent-pending Tuff Quick Hook System, which allows an officer to attach the kit to his or her belt and remove it without having to take off the belt.
The T.A.S.K. with P.T.K. is available now at a suggested retail price of $79.