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What Are the Different Types of Law Enforcement Gear?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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Law enforcement gear varies greatly across the world, depending on the legality of certain weapons in addition to the local law enforcement’s own policies. Uniforms are routinely used to help civilians identify officers and sometimes differentiate police and military officers. Badges and flashlights are small but important items for identification and enforcing the law in poorly lit areas while doubling as a secondary weapon, respectively. Weapons and vehicles are also types of law enforcement gear many officers are rarely without.

The police uniform varies in color and style depending on jurisdiction, but is generally used to make officers easily recognizable. A basic but modern uniform might be a solid color shirt, pants of the same color, and a police hat. Police officers sometimes have working uniforms to use in everyday situations and formal uniforms to wear during special events. Some law enforcement agencies also have uniform rain jackets and visibility jackets to use when directing traffic.

A badge is a type of law enforcement gear used as identification. In some areas of the world, all police officers carry badges to ensure civilians of their trustworthiness. Police badges also make it more difficult for people to impersonate an officer because many people do not trust a badge-less officer.

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Police officers have a lot of weapons at their disposal, depending on legality within their jurisdiction and local law enforcement policy. Some non-lethal weapons are tasers, tear gas, and pepper spray. Batons, numerous types of firearms, and certain specialized weapons can be lethal but considered appropriate in some situations. Often, law enforcement officers have access to weapons civilians are prohibited to own and use themselves.

Law enforcement agents often carry a flashlight. These lights are typically sturdier, higher in quality, and capable of lighting more area than standard flashlights. In addition to their usual lighting function, flashlights as law enforcement gear can serve as a non-deadly blunt weapon. Sometimes officers also have larger spotlights attached to their vehicles.

In some countries, vehicles are the most common method of transportation for law enforcement agents. These automobiles are often equipped with tires that can handle sustained high speeds, sirens and signal lights, as well as specialized restraints for suspects. Sometimes bikes, both foot-pedaled and motored, are utilized by law enforcement agents who need to move quickly through congested street or foot traffic. Helicopters and airplanes are also utilized by these agents, though this is not as common.

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