Responsible communities across the country recognize and applaud the vital job police officers perform to keep everyday people safe. The brave men and women who form the thin blue line between order and lawlessness deserve all the support possible to carry out their tasks.
But one of the issues that sometimes flies under the radar involves credible threats, and the emotions officers must wrestle with on and off the job. Take a moment to consider when a bad actor or criminal poses a danger or catastrophe occurs, everyday people are inherently conditioned to retreat to a safe distance. Police officers charge directly into harm’s way, and that trained response takes an emotional toll.
Although they are duty-bound to set fear aside to protect and serve, they deserve the most advanced protective gear possible to minimize the psychological impact necessary to keep others safe. These are common threats police officers face and ways the right gear can minimize the danger.
Sustaining Injury During An Arrest
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), police officers remain at high risk of suffering a work-related injury. The unpredictable nature of criminals and their propensity for violence requires officers to restrain and subdue offenders. Although law enforcement agencies generally train them in self-defense techniques, aggressive perpetrators sometimes injure officers.
The NIH indicates that blunt force trauma may result in substantial musculoskeletal injuries. Many of these are preventable when officers wear gear designed to protect them on routine patrol. Lightweight chest and back panels minimize the impact of a punch, a hand-held weapon breaking an officer’s ribs or knocking out their wind. Upper-arm protections also shield peace officers from sustaining direct impacts on bones or cut wounds from sharp objects. This type of protective gear has become standard-issue in many departments.
Losing Consciousness From A Blow To The Head
Local law enforcement budgets too often don’t allow officers to patrol in tandem. When criminal suspicion or act is discovered, the protocol before engaging is to wait for backup. But violent offenders do not sit around and wait. Individual officers are sometimes forced to act alone to prevent a dangerous criminal from escaping and harming civilians.
When thrust into this heightened situation, perhaps an officer’s worst fear is being knocked unconscious. Once incapacitated, the officer is entirely at the mercy of the criminal and can be stripped of a taser, pepper spray, or their sidearm. Losing consciousness can result in an assailant taking charge of a pistol and using it. Community members would be wise to share in this fear. The best protection against blunt force trauma to the head is a riot or bump helmet.
Danger Of Bloodborne Pathogens & Contaminants
One of the duties law enforcement officials routinely perform involves searches. This generally means rifling through a handcuffed individual’s clothing, handbag, or knapsack, among others. Automobile searches sometimes task officers with reaching between seats or spaces out of view. That means at least portions of these necessary searches involve blind probing.
It’s not uncommon for drug traffickers and addicts to possess sharp, used syringes. Dirty needles remain a credible threat and fear of transferring diseases, HIV the contagion that causes AIDS, is one of the most common concerns. Officers require more than latex gloves when reaching into unseen spaces to search for drugs, weapons, and other illegal items. That’s why protective gloves remain a must-have accessory they can leverage as needed. Local officials who outline and vote on budgets would be well-served to ask themselves if they would stick their unprotected hand between the seats of a known drug offender’s car seats.
Fire & Chemical Agents
Before firefighters or Hazmat teams arrive at a critical scene, police officers are tasked with securing a perimeter and getting people away from danger. This sometimes means getting far closer to a burning building or toxic spill than they would like. Perhaps the only way to mitigate such emerging credible threats is to provide full-body protective wear that is heat-resistant and prevents chemical contact with the skin. Without such gear, a police officer’s fear of injury, illness, and death is very real.
Next-Gen Riot Gear to Keep You and Your Team Safe
No responsible municipality allows the risk of injury or potential loss of life of its police officers to go unchecked. They may be forced to overcome fears many could not to keep community members safe. But that emotional strain can be sharply reduced by providing next-generation protective gear. This gear can be worn and accessorized on every shift. Haven Gear produces a complete line of protective wear that helps keep police officers as safe as they keep the rest of us during these credible threats. Contact us today to learn more about our full line of next-gen riot gear to keep you and your team safe.