At the start of the new year, many SWAT teams decide to allocate their budgets to new gear. Since the beginning of February, we’ve heard of at least two SWAT teams who have made substantial overhauls to the equipment and gear at their disposal. Below, we’ll provide a breakdown of what they purchased, as well as some of the best new products we’ve seen hit the market so far this year.
Prince Albert Police Service
The Prince Albert Police Service, located in Canada, recently purchased nearly $47,000 in new tactical gear. The unit upgraded their equipment by acquiring roughly $31,000 worth of new helmets and headsets and just under $17,000 for lightweight body armor plates.
The most significant benefit of the new gear is that it is much more lightweight and effective than the equipment the unit used previously. The headsets are also compatible with a broader range of radio systems.
Sargent Travis Willie told PA Now, “Our SWAT members could be on the scene for sometimes hour potentially, and a significant decrease in the weight that they’re now wearing, compared to before, is going to go a long way to preventing officer fatigue. It’s going to keep our officers extremely safe.”
Sargent Scott Hayes added, “The increased level of tactical efficiency and awareness will no doubt improve public safety in our community.” The Prince Albert SWAT unit could also expect to see more funding in the coming months, as the Saskatchewan Ministry of Corrections announced more than $330,000 in funding for local law enforcement agencies.
Rogers Police Service
Rogers is a small town in Minnesota, located in northern Hennepin County. Their police force consists of a mere 20 members. The town may not be the first place where you would predict a mass shooting to occur. However, the town is practicing excellent preparation techniques, understanding of the fact that it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a tactical situation. Community funding recently enabled the Rogers police to overhaul their tactical gear, buying:
Unlike the Prince Albert Police Service, the Rogers police force did not have money in their budget to upgrade their gear. Members of the police force campaigned in the community and obtained numerous sponsors and donations. In total, the Rogers Police Department raised more than $30,000 to upgrade their gear. More than 20 officers will now have access to state-of-the-art tactical equipment.
Sargent Jeff Beck told Kare 11, “In today’s climate, with things that have happened across the country, you need to be prepared.” Beck noted that the businesses and individuals who raised the money were potentially saving police lives, as the gear held previously by the officers was inadequate to handle an active shooter situation.
Beck also said that the equipment would allow him to train officers to engage an active shooter immediately instead of having to wait for an outside unit from a neighboring town. He commented, “Every second is going to save a life. The quicker we get teams to respond to an active event…this is going to allow us to get in there and do it.”
What Are Some Of The Latest Gear Offerings?
Manufacturers have begun releasing their new product lines for the year, and we’re excited about many of the products available. One of the items that has stood out to us most is the Snap-On RAVE XL Knife. This is an overbuilt pocket knife that has a modified drop-point stainless steel blade. This knife can do it all, subtle enough to strip wiring but durable enough to cut hose and rope. The foldable knife measures 6.875” when open and weighs just over six ounces.
Another product that’s stood out to us is the new Bastion Helmet from Diamond Age. The helmet is revolutionary in that it offers protection from common rifle rounds thanks to its modular ceramic and carbon fiber exo-shell. Tactical units will also find that the exterior shell features five separate, removable tiles:
One in the front
One in the back
One on top
Two on the sides
Perhaps one of the best products to pair this with is Armor Express’ Hard Core PT vest, made from durable 500D nylon. The vest is lightweight and features accessible front and rear rifle plate pockets. There are also mic attachment points on the vest as well so that team members can communicate with one another easily. The company offers the vest in numerous colors, including:
One of the last devices that has really jumped out at the beginning of 2019 is the Wattozz remote-controlled wireless electroshock weapon. Unlike the stun guns typically used today, which feature wires and limited range, this weapon does not have any cables. All tactical officers need to do is point and air the gun to shoot at their desired target.
The company limits the shock values to risk-free levels. Tactical officers can also adjust the shock duration and radio frequency of the device. The radio frequency system also allows officers to adjust the bullets remotely.
Have You Upgraded Your Tactical Gear?
In our opinion, the Rogers Police Department is entirely representative of the mindset we should all have when it comes to tactical equipment. Although the small town may never see an active shooter, the police force did not want to be left in the dark if the situation did arise. It was refreshing to read about a local community who understood the need for preparation and contributed many of their own funds to help keep the town safe.
If you have yet to upgrade your tactical gear, you’ll want to look into doing so as soon as possible. There are numerous exciting offerings and products now available, each of which designed to help keep you safe and mobile during a tactical event. At Orion Tactical, we offer the latest gear offerings to help protect you in a time of crisis. Will you have the right equipment on hand when duty calls?