IACP Leads to SHOT Show

Dec. 19, 2023
With IACP in October and SHOT Show in January, this isn't just "the silly season" for law enforcement.

It’s interesting how, during the fourth quarter of each calendar year, we experience “the silly season.” Even greater staff shortages as people take holiday vacations, and, of course, weather challenges depending on your locale. For those of us in the industry that support law enforcement, the time from mid-October to mid-January is a unique time frame. Why? Because mid-October is the largest dedicated law enforcement convention and exposition, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference, and mid-January is the largest firearms/ outdoor related show, the Shooting, Hunting Outdoor Show (SHOT Show), which has a significant portion of show floor dedicated to law enforcement-related products or services. While IACP does have products on the show floor, most of it is focused on technology and software-based services that are best used at the command level, whereas SHOT Show will have a heavier focus on hard tools such as firearms, apparel, armor and more.

This article appeared in the November/December issue of OFFICER Magazine. Click Here to subscribe to OFFICER Magazine.

As we find ourselves in between the two largest shows of our industry, we have the opportunity to consider everything we saw at the IACP convention and to anticipate all of the “what’s new” that we might see at SHOT Show. The IACP convention was held in San Diego this year and was one of the largest “show floors” we’ve experienced at that show. While it took a couple years to fully come back after COVID shut down everything, IACP ’23 felt at least as large as IACP ’19.

This year’s show floor was packed full of exhibitors that either manufacture tools and equipment law enforcement can use, or have services available that make duty performance more efficient, or both. It’s always interesting to see command staff officers, sheriffs and chiefs walking the aisles, considering the products and services. If you follow a few and pay attention to where they stop, you can gauge what their agency needs. This year it seemed like there was a lot of traffic around the larger technology companies, most of them offering tools that allow agencies to increase efficiency through proper data use.

The L3Harris booth highlighted their communications tools along with their PatrolSim Law Enforcement Driving Simulator and several software solutions they provide for dispatch and patrol management efficiency. If for no other reason than the fact that officers drive more than they do almost anything else during the course of a duty day, the Law Enforcement Driving Simulator is a product worth looking at.

Oracle is another company that had a significant presence and received a lot of attention. We spent some time with them gaining insight into their unified public safety hardware and software suite. With “big data” being a challenge to manage, analyze and leverage for best intelligence, Oracle’s solution allows for real-time access to that data, allowing agencies to maximize efficiency of use.

Another company with a notable solutions display at IACP was Digi International. One of the challenges with all of the data available is ensuring connectivity of sufficient bandwidth to move it. Given all of the environmental conditions and circumstances that can present challenges to the necessary connectivity, solutions that manage and empower it are of value for the law enforcement industry. Digi International was displaying and explaining the function of their line of cellular and networking devices.

Motorola Solutions is a name long known in the L.E. community for its communications products. A quick visit in their booth, or to their website, can almost overwhelm someone. Motorola offers a full suite of software solutions that maximizes the efficiency of their hardware solutions, specifically to empower dependable communications.

We would be remiss if we failed to mention Axon. Our editorial and publishing team had the opportunity to experience the Axon VR training environment while we were familiarized with the new TASER 10. It was an enlightening experience and, when first entered, could be slightly disorienting. The Axon team of instructors recognized that and warned us about it before we “went in.” The value of the VR training was easily demonstrated and understood. Also of note in the Axon booth was the announcement of their Moonshot project. Leaning on the Axon Public Safety Gun Fatality Database, the Moonshot goal is to reduce police firearms fatalities over a specific time span. It’s a laudable project/ effort and we should all hope it proves successful!

The companies exhibiting at IACP one could reasonably expect to see exhibiting at SHOT Show included Glock and 5.11 Tactical. (See our OFFICER Labs review of 5.11’s V.XI XTU uniform elsewhere in this issue). But there will be far more companies that manufacture knives, lights, firearms, etc. at SHOT Show. Interestingly, in the past few years, some of the major manufacturers, such as Sig Sauer, have chosen not to be at SHOT but instead hold their own “show” nearby.

Some of the things our editorial team is hoping to see at SHOT Show are:

New firearms chambered for the Federal .30SC (Super Carry) cartridge. The cartridge seems to have great potential for defensive and off-duty carry, but such will depend on more mainstream manufacturers producing guns that feed the round. As of this writing, only Smith & Wesson and Nighthawk Custom make handguns chambering the relatively new ammunition.

New or updated holsters that integrate the Alien Gear TAQ Strap (see the OFFICER Labs review of this tourniquet system elsewhere in this issue). Having a preplaced tourniquet on the wearer’s thigh cuts time toward stopping life-threatening blood loss.

Whether the wearer uses an Alien Gear holster or not, the Alien Gear TAQ Strap can be used and potentially save lives. New flashlights or upgraded designs incorporating more powerful and better energy-managed LED technology. (see our OFFICER Labs review of the NEXTORCH TA30C and TA30C MAX lights elsewhere in this issue.) Since well over two-thirds of law enforcement firearms engagements take place in low- or no-light conditions, high quality versatile flashlights that are convenient to carry are mandatory. All of that and more should be seen at SHOT Show and we’ll be regularly posting updates throughout that show on our various social media channels. Stay tuned!

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