Owens says having all of his equipment in one place is much handier than digging through bags or boxes to access what he needs. In addition to organization, the Patrolman TrunkVault also offers a bit of extra protection.
"We don't work the best parts of town, so it's also nice that we can keep our valuable equipment in the organizer," Owens says. "Not only is the equipment secured by the car, but there's secondary security with the TrunkVault as well."
While entering the "Junk in Your Trunk" contest was important to Owens personally, he also hoped officials in his department would take notice of the need to improve organization in all of its patrol vehicles.
"My goal was to bring it to the attention of our department so that maybe in the future vehicles can have something like a TruckVault incorporated as part of a standard equipment package."
An officer searching through the trunk of a dirty, overstuffed, disorganized vehicle appears "far from efficient or professional," according to Dan Birdsill of the Madison County (Montana) Sheriff's Office. He entered his 2006 Ford Expedition in the "Junk in Your Trunk" program in hopes of putting the kibosh on clutter.
As a "Junk in Your Trunk" winner, Birdsill installed the Tac Center from TruckVault within a few days of receiving it. Since efficiency is at the forefront of his mind, Birdsill says he finds it frustrating when he searches for an important piece of equipment in his vehicle during an emergency, only to find it misplaced or damaged.
His department recently added and updated equipment stowed in patrol vehicles, but he says they fell short trying to organize and secure costly items.
"The equipment is so expensive, you hate to see it get broken or lost or get pulled out and dropped in the mud," Birdsill continues.
He says that while the appropriate equipment and tools are essential in law enforcement, so is the ability to keep the equipment and officers safe, organized and well-maintained. Birdsill says that his sheriff has been "absolutely great" about obtaining new equipment for the department, and the last thing he wants to see is equipment piling up in a trunk.
Birdsill is also a K-9 officer, so he says he has twice the amount of equipment. The TruckVault unit allows him to put large items on top, just an arms reach away. "If I need my road spikes, ballistics helmet, tactical vest or something like that, it's all right there," Birdsill says. "I just open the door, grab it and go."
According to Don Fenton, TruckVault sales marketing director, the company is "always researching new and better ways of building products. We welcome any input from law enforcement agencies, and we constantly strive to make a product that the end-user ultimately benefits from.
Birdsill thinks the benefits of the TruckVault unit lie within making his vehicle better overall. In fact, since he's installed it, he hasn't had any issues filling the unit with his equipment.
"I carry my flares and all of my paperwork and files," he says. "When I need something, all I have to do is pop one of those drawers open and it's right there, instead of having to unload everything out of my trunk."
HAVIS-SHIELDS EQUIPMENT CORP.
Product: Full-size trunk-mounted radio tray and equipment guard, and a trunk box organizer
Lake Mills (Wisconsin) Police Department and Columbia City (Indiana) Police Department
"Trunk organization is all about convenience, space and safety." This is the belief of Mark Sundy, product specialist and technical support manager for Warminster, Pennsylvania-based Havis-Shields Equipment Corp. "It is getting as much out of the driver's compartment as possible and keeping it safer for the officer," he continues.
With this belief as a driving force, Havis-Shields participated in the "Junk in Your Trunk" program, donating a full-size trunk-mounted radio tray (C-3190-F) and Equipment Guard (C-3190-F-EG), specifically for the Ford Crown Victoria, as well as a Trunk Box Organizer (C-TBO-CV) to the City of Lake Mills (Wisconsin) Police Department and Columbia City (Indiana) Police Department, respectively.