The Patrol Ready Duty Belt

After a recent stint back on nights in uniform working the street, the author continues to examine the equipment he chose and why.


My agency provides Uncle Mike's black basket-weave Mirage belts on which I mounted my BLACKHAWK! SERPA Level 3, Bianchi open top dual mag carrier (much faster and just as secure as a flap covered mag carrier), an ASP polymer holster containing my 21 inch ASP baton topped with a Hindi baton cap, a Safariland dual cuff case, another ASP scabbard holds my Streamlight PolyStinger Dual Switch LED flashlight, a back-up Streamlight Strion LED compact light is held in a Uncle Mikes flapped holder, a small key holder and lastly a swivel holster for my portable radio. Two belt keepers are all I use. One is mounted behind my holster to keep my OC spray carrier from interfering with my pistol access. The second keeper is affixed at the rear of my belt.

Real Estate and Placement

As I've gotten older I have more room on my belt to mount gear (that's all I'm sayin'...). Smaller male and female officers may be hard pressed to get the real estate to carry their gear. BDU trousers with thigh pockets offer some options such as carrying a Taser X26 in a pocket holster from DeSantis. I'm not issued a Taser but if I was, I would probably mount it in front of my belt for a cross draw.

Most of my life-saving gear (pistol, spare mags, cuffs, baton) are carried in front of my hips for easier access. Years ago I carried my double cuff case behind my pistol and behind my hip but that caused lower back problems so I moved it up front (easier access with either hand as well). Nowadays I don't carry anything on the belt that keeps my back from being flat against the car seat or anything that could injure my spine should I fall backwards.

Some officers carry a latex glove pouch on their belt. Although I've always had patrol gloves in a pocket or on the dash for quick access as well as having latex gloves readily available, I've never carried them on the belt.

Wrap-Up

The duty belt does more than just serve as some piece of ceremonial uniform gear. It carries, ready at hand, the firearm and equipment we may need to save our very lives. Care must be taken in its selection, placement and maintenance so that it can serve you in its intended function. Look good and perform well on the street by properly attending to your duty belt, holster and gear. Take care of it and it will take care of you.



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