Working as a law enforcement officer can certainly be a satisfying and rewarding job. However, it can just as easily be a stressful one. Working in law enforcement places a lot of responsibility and burdens on one’s shoulders, and sometimes it’s hard to remember that we are only human and sometimes need to take care of ourselves as well. While there’s no surefire way to eliminate stress in the workplace or reduce job fatigue, here are a few tips for helping to handle and reduce the stress you might face while on the job. Continue reading Tips for Handling Stress in Law Enforcement
The funeral ceremony has often served as a means of mourning, remembering, and honoring those who have passed, and as a country some of the most formal and revered ceremonies are held for those in military service, as well as police officers and civil servants. Those who carry out these ceremonies are called the honor guard. Continue reading The Honor Guard: Mourn, Remember and Honor
Body armor is quite simply the most important piece of any law enforcement officer’s uniform. It saves lives. Unfortunately, when it doesn’t fit properly, your body armor can also be the most uncomfortable part of your uniform. However, with the correct fit, your body armor will not only be more comfortable but also provide effective and protective coverage. All it takes are a few simple measurements and some fine tuning once you have your vest, so let’s get started.
Pepper spray comes from oleoresin capsicum (OC), which is actually a chemical distilled from peppers. OC causes extreme pain and burning when it comes into contact with the eyes, skin or mucous membranes, which makes it very effective in deterring or stopping attacks. The effects of pepper spray are instant and non-lethal, lasting up to 45 minutes and completely disabling an attacker. Continue reading OC and Pepper Spray Variations
It is somewhat surprising that the same ingredient that is used to spice up food is also used to create a powerful tool for self-defense. Pepper spray, also known as OC spray, is used in law enforcement, riot control, crowd control, and personal self-defense, including defense against dogs and even bears. Pepper spray has a long history for being used for defense, and as of today has developed into a wide variety of strengths for use. Here is some of the history behind pepper spray and how it went from being a simple spice to being used as a powerful deterrent. Continue reading The History of OC and Pepper Spray
There’s no denying the sheer importance of handcuffs, a law enforcement officer’s staple tool for restraining. Handcuffed detainees are far less likely to flee, cause damage, or become aggressive. These tools have such a place in society that it’s almost impossible to think of a law enforcement officer and not have handcuffs come to mind. But, where did this tool originate and how has it changed over the course of human history? Here we’ll explain just how the handcuff came to be and how it has evolved into the irreplaceable tool officers use today. Continue reading History of Handcuffs
Galls is proud to sponsor such a worthy challenge — a challenge that gives the true heroes of our day the chance to not only showcase their athletic excellence, but also the opportunity to demonstrate their national pride. That is one of the reasons why we want to honor you by partnering with the World Police & Fire Games.
These games allow sworn public safety professionals — such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, first responders, and customs and corrections officers — the prospect of competing at an Olympic-worthy level. In fact, this international sporting event is even larger than the London 2012 Olympics, with more than 12,000 athletes from 70 countries. Participants are grouped by country, providing them with an unforgettable opportunity to display patriotism and loyalty to their homeland. Although many of these athletes come from different parts of the world, they come together for a mutual goal: to prove their athletic excellence in more than 60 sporting events, giving them a chance to qualify for more than 1,600 medal events. There is no shortage of events either, with the Games covering the gamut from angling to wrestling.
However, we would be remiss if we failed to mention a part of the Games that transcends athletic ability and backgrounds, and it’s the inherent camaraderie factor. Participants are in a unique position to network with likeminded athletes who have committed their lives to the same purpose: the safety and wellbeing of others. These athletes share a common thread that binds them, regardless of their chosen field or discipline — and the chance to share techniques and stories is a valuable by-product of the Games’ success.
The particular event we are sponsoring is the Toughest Competitor Alive, from June 27th to June 30th, which is an athletic challenge consisting of eight disciplines: 5K Cross Country Run, Shot Put, 100 Meter Dash, 100 Yard Swim, 20’ Rope Climb, Bench Press, Pull-ups, Obstacle Course. As the Proud Toughest Competitor Alive Sport Host, we are eager to be a part of this respected competition. The Games are made a reality by the support of sponsors from around the globe. For us here at Galls, partnering with the Games is our way of saying thanks to you for laying your life on the line every day to protect us.
Did you know?
The World Police & Fire Games Federation, a nonprofit organization run by the California Police Athletic Federation, established the World Police & Fire Games. The first games were held in San Jose, California in 1985, to give public safety officers the occasion to contend in prestigious venues at a global level. Today, the World Police & Fire Games is an international sporting event. Held biennially, the World Police & Fire Games will take place in Fairfax, Virginia, USA, from June 26th to July 5th, 2015. Upcoming Games will be hosted by Montreal, Canada in 2017 and Chengdu, China in 2019 and will also span a 10-day range.
The games continue to grow, with both the attendance and number of participating countries steadily increasing. In fact, the Games have begun to draw as many as 10,000 entrants and a staggering 15,000 to 30,000 visitors. The international community eagerly bids for the rights and opportunity to host this dynamic event.
In the wake of events like those in Ferguson, Missouri this past year, much of American Law Enforcement is now under close scrutiny from the public. One of the ways to counteract this is with the spread and increased use of body worn cameras. Only a few years ago body worn cameras were only occasionally used, but after recent events they’ve become a hot topic issue. By the end of 2014 President Obama was promoting the use of use of body worn cameras by law enforcement, which helped even further launch them into the spotlight. Everyone wanted cameras to be used immediately. Yet, despite all of this there still hasn’t been much in the way of federal grants for body worn cameras. Even though the Body Worn Camera Act has received bi-partisan support, that still hasn’t shaken the many issues that exist with this new and highly sought after technology.
It’s particularly unusual for a bill to receive as much bi-partisan support as the Body Worn Camera Act has, given how polarized Capitol Hill finds most issues. However, both liberal and conservative politicians have been supportive of the use of body worn cameras, but for different reasons. On one side, supporters want body worn cameras to assist law enforcement officers in proving their compliance to the law and making sure their reports of incidents remain honest. The other side also supports the use of body worn cameras to monitor law enforcement activity and hold officers accountable, and hopefully prevent unnecessary altercations. However, for many people, body worn cameras are new territory, and they don’t fully understand how they work and how they could affect officer behavior.
Pilot studies conducted by different university-based researches concluded that the use of body-worn cameras is reported to have a “civilizing effect” on police-civilian interactions, and to cause a reduction in use-of-force incidents. This effect is caused by the officers being fully aware of the fact that they’re being recorded, as well as civilians they interact with. Essentially, many civilians and officers are more at ease knowing that an unbiased camera is taking record of their exchanges. Additionally, reports against law enforcement officers decreased in the areas where these studies took place. With this in mind it seems like there would be no issue pushing any bill, which promoted the use of this technology.
One of the many problems with heavy use of body worn cameras is a public-records issue. All recordings must be reviewed and private details removed before it is released to the public, which is a costly and time-consuming process to go through. Additionally, storage of this footage is a major issue. The amount of data created by body worn cameras is immense and needs massive storage space to house it all, which is something most departments are not equipped to handle. Another issue with body worn cameras is many areas have different laws and policies regarding when the cameras can be used, or if they even need to be used at all. Many states require law enforcement to inform civilians when they are being recorded, which can pose an issue if an officer is undercover or does not want the civilian to know they’re on camera. Video evidence can also be taken out of context or misinterpreted in court, which is another setback for the technology.
Despite the multiple setbacks, Capitol Hill has not stopped its need for body worn cameras. As of May 1st 2015, a new federal grant was released to assist law enforcement agencies in the purchasing of body worn cameras. While it’s only the first in a longer series, this grant will likely help in the short term while a larger and much more robust program is approved over the next year. Controversial as they may be, body worn cameras are likely to be one of the biggest staples to law enforcement gear.
Woven…forged…born… the strongest materials on Earth resist immense amounts of tension and absorb high forces without cracking. One of the strongest, even at its thinnest, has never been broken, protects millions through the dark and chaos, and is known by its distinctive color… blue. Remember those that sacrificed everything to form this heroic line…and all that keep it going.
It’s a well known fact that body armor can save your life; that’s why knowing which tactical body armor you should purchase is a crucial decision. Before you start comparing prices it’s important to be informed about the varying levels of body armor available. There are six levels, with level one offering the least amount of protection and the most at the sixth level. It is imperative to know which level is suited to your specific job, as you don’t need over protection nor can you afford under protection. It’s not as easy as simply choosing the armor that offers the highest amount of protection, as each level also increases in weight and bulk. Below is a breakdown of each level and what they offer protection against, as well as a few suggestions for body armor.
Level I vests protects against .22 caliber pistol rounds or long rifle rounds, and .380 caliber rounds. Level I body armor is notably light, but that comes at the cost of greater protection. This is the minimum level of protection every officer should have, and the armor should be routinely worn at all times while on duty. Level I body armor was introduced during the mid-1970s. However, most agencies today have opted for a higher level of protection due to increased threat levels.
This level protects against all lower levels as well as 9mm rounds and .357 magnum rounds. Level IIA body armor is well suited for full-time use by police departments, particularly those seeking protection from lower velocity ammunition.
Protects against the same types of rounds that Level IIA protects against, except the added safety at this level increases the speed at which that ammunition can be fired while still protecting the wearer. Level II body armor is typically heavier and more bulky than either Level I or IIA.
Level IIIA provides protection against most handgun threats, as well as the Level I, II-A, and II threats. Level IIIA body armor provides the highest level of protection available from concealable body armor and is appropriate for routine wear in many situations. However, users located in hot or humid climates may need to evaluate the use of Level IIIA armor carefully, as the added weight and bulk may impede with the wearer’s duties.
Level III body armor is the first vest that mandates the use of heavy, bulky hard plate with softer body armor to protect the wearer from rifle rounds. The soft armor is able to absorb some trauma and minimize injury to the wearer. This armor protects against 7.62mm full metal jacketed ammunition, as well as everything protected from the lower levels. Level III body armor is mostly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection, such as barricade confrontations involving sporting rifles.
Similar to Level III, Level IV body armor is a hard body armor designed to protect the wearer from “armor piercing” bullets. It also provides at least single-hit protection against the Level I through III threats. Level IV body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available. Because this armor is intended to resist “armor piercing” bullets, it often uses ceramic materials. Such materials are brittle in nature and may provide only single-shot protection, since the ceramic tends to break apart when struck. Just like Level III armor, Level IV armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection.
With the knowledge of the various levels you can now choose the right piece of equipment to suit your needs. Here are some examples of a few top selling vests from Galls.com:
Below are a few videos suggesting the best way to properly fit a ballistic vest, as well as how to measure sizing for both men and women.
Sizing for Women:
Sizing for Men: