Training is Key to Military Equipment

law enforcement training team with tactical equipment and tactic

San Francisco, CA:  The United Coalition of Public Safety (UCOPS) is supportive of lifting the limits on providing surplus military gear to law enforcement departments across the nation. This type of equipment, when used appropriately, can protect police officers and enhance public safety.

Departments that accept this equipment must have ongoing training in place and provide instruction to officers on the unique limited instances where these tools can be deployed.

At the same time, we understand the need to reassure the public that this gear is used properly and lawfully. Departments that accept this equipment must have ongoing training in place and provide instruction to officers on the unique limited instances where these tools can be deployed. It is also important that departments educate the community about the use of such equipment and keep comprehensive records of the “significant incidents” where these specialty tools are used.

With increases in terror attacks, active-shooter situations and large, sometimes violent, demonstrations, this equipment can help police departments keep officers and communities safe.

police tanker in palm beach
Debbie Jennings (center) poses in front of a police tanker with Delray Beach Police Sgt. Paul Weber (left) and Officer Gerry Riccio on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. The tanker was used to rescue Jennings after her roof came off during Hurricane Irma causing her home to flood. (Photo by Lulu Ramadan/Palm Beach Post)

While there is a public perception that law enforcement is primarily bringing in heavy-duty military gear, much of this equipment is limited to safety gear used to protect police officers as they in turn work to keep our communities safe. For example, armored vehicles have been used in rescue operations and to provide cover to protect officers in shootout situations; Kevlar vests and helmets have protected first responders from death or serious injury.

The primary goal of law enforcement officers is to keep our communities safe by minimizing the potential for injury and death; which means using our tools responsibly. We understand that our communities entrust us with a huge responsibility and we take that seriously as part of our oath to protect and serve.

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Image: iStockphoto