Police officers often risk their lives to "serve and protect" citizens within their jurisdiction. They're called in case of accident, robberies, fights, domestic violence, and violent crimes, as well as for community and civil service purposes. To ensure they're well equipped to handle all the surprises working in law enforcement can provide, officers are required to carry a number of important items while on duty.
It's important for police officers to carry guns with them while they're on duty; in fact, many officers carry guns when they're off duty as well. Although using a gun can result in injury or death, it occasionally becomes necessary in the field of duty. Officers use their weapons to defend themselves and citizens against criminals with guns and other violent attacks, as well as to fire warning shots.
Officers carry pepper spray and/or mace to disarm suspects and perpetrators, and stop attackers from advancing. It's used in the event that criminals don't seem to be armed, but won't follow orders to cease and desist.
Tasers are used for similar purposes as guns and mace or pepper spray. They send an electrical charge through the body of whoever it's used against, and cause assailants to become temporarily paralyzed. Tasers aren't typically used against suspects who have weapons, because officers have to get close enough to touch the taser to their skin.
It's important for police officers to carry communication devices with them. This can include cell phones, two-way pagers and two-way radios. These devices allow offers to receive orders from dispatch and request emergency assistance when needed.
Flashlights are an essential part of police officer gear. Officers often have to investigate dark places, or shine additional light on items or activity that require close scrutiny.
Knives are occasionally used by police officers for self-defense; in addition, they're used as a tool for cutting rope, seat belts, tape, and other items.
It's important for police officers to carry handcuffs, which are used to restrain suspects or criminals who are being arrested or detained.
Batons, also known as nightsticks, are another weapon police officers carry to use in self defense. They're typically used against individuals who don't have weapons, but are nonetheless disrespecting an officer's authority. Batons can also be used to knock on doors and assist with forceful entry.
- police body and dog image by Sergey Galushko from Fotolia.com