There are many different types of police equipment, and the equipment carried by a particular officer depends on the policies of that officer’s agency and his or her role within law enforcement. A police officer often carries basic equipment such as a handgun, handcuffs, a flashlight, handcuff keys, other restraining devices, pepper spray, a baton, and other basic gear such as tape for roping off a crime scene and a radio for communicating with other officers. More specialized police equipment might be carried by a tactical officer and can include more powerful firearms, body armor, and a battering ram.
The police equipment carried by a particular officer often varies, and includes items that he or she is required to carry due to agency policies, as well as any items he or she may find helpful. One of the most basic pieces of police equipment is the firearm a police officer carries. This is usually worn on the hip of the officer, though some officers may wear a firearm in a shoulder holster. The specific gun used by an officer depends on the standard practices and policies of a police department and the preferences of the officer.
Common police equipment also includes various types of restraining devices, including handcuffs and zip ties, as well as handcuff keys and a pocket knife. This is usually a folding knife that requires only a single hand to use. Police officers also wear or carry a badge that identifies them as officers of the law, and the officer may be required to wear a standard uniform as well. Many officers also have secondary weapons such as batons, often collapsible batons, and pepper spray.
There are also pieces of police equipment that officers might not carry on their person, but which many officer have in their vehicle. This includes equipment for maintaining a crime scene, such as tape, road flares, and portable barricades. Police officers also usually carry radios to communicate with other officers, often worn on the shoulder or belt.
Some pieces of police equipment are more specialized and typically worn or utilized only by tactical officers. These include body armor, heavy firearms such as automatic rifles and tear gas guns, and shields used for pacifying participants in a riot. Battering rams are also frequently used by tactical officers, and these can be single or two-person rams. Such police equipment is typically utilized by officers in special units such as the special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team.