I spare no expense in making sure my duty belt contains the best equipment allowed by my agency’s policy. I work in an unforgiving environment where calling a ‘time out’ isn’t an option. It’s not uncommon for policies to be out of date, or to mandate equipment purchased by the agency, or to reflect the manufacturer’s recommendations. Policies can be restrictive but it’s generally to ensure consistency in the function and performance of the equipment and to achieve uniformity amongst officers. There are three pieces of equipment that matter more to me than anything else on my belt: my firearm, my holster and magazine pouch and my knife.

The most important piece of equipment on any police officer’s duty belt is the one piece they will hopefully never have to use, their firearm. Years ago, our policy changed for the better. It allowed officers to purchase and carry 40-caliber Glock firearm models. I, like most of my coworkers, purchased the Glock because it was a huge improvement from the outdated Smith & Wesson 4046s that we were carrying at that time.