Try this. Attach a twenty-five-pound weight to a 2 1/4 inch strip of nylon, or leather. Then wrap that super heavy strap around your waist, hook it to your regular belt, and then run a few sprints, climb a fence or two, wrestle three or four angry men, fight a guy who’s trying to stab you with a screwdriver, stand in the middle of a busy intersection in the pouring rain for two hours while waving cars through at well-timed intervals, walk 10 or 15 miles, chase a young kid for 10 blocks, and…well, you get the idea. It ain’t easy. But that’s what police officers do every single day of their lives. Yep, they strap their toolboxes to their waists and head out for work.
So what are all those things hanging from an officer’s gun belt (aka duty belt, or Sam Browne belt)? Let’s see…
An officer’s gun belt is normally made from leather or nylon. Each item is strategically placed on the belt for easy use.
Left – flashlight holder, or ring. Belt keepers (right) are thin strips of leather or nylon used to hold the gun belt to the officer’s regular belt. They prevent the gun belt from sliding down around the officer’s ankles. Now that could be pretty embarrassing.
Belt keepers positioned between handcuff cases. I wore four belt keepers. Other officers may use more, or less. It’s a matter of personal preference.
.40 cal. Glock and nylon holster
Glock, magazine, and hollow point ammunition
Double magazine pouch and spare magazines
Two pairs of hinged cuffs and double cuff case
Hinged cuffs and key
ASP expandable baton
Mini flashlight and case
Portable radio and case
Pepperspray and case
* Interesting point – Bathroom breaks. The belt has to come off, which means undoing the keepers, etc. Then, suppose an emergency arises during the break. It all has to go back on. Including tucking in the tails (sort of like shirt tails) of the vest carrier.
Kevlar vest. The blue material is actually a carrier that holds the Kevlar panels in place. Having a separate carrier allows the portion of the vest (carrier) that’s next to the skin (the blue, canvas-like material) to be washed.
Kevlar cannot be washed (wiping it down is okay).
Kevlar insert (this is the front section that’s inserted into the blue carrier on the left in the previous photo).