Specialized gear and equipment is a part of any job, and protective services is no different. In fact, having a majority of individuals coming from military and law enforcement backgrounds makes it even more of an issue as practitioners tend to rely on gear more than they should, at times.
There are many options which would cover the common ‘tools of the trade’ however we will simply look at a few options I have had experience with and have become my ‘go-to’ options. For gear types, we will look at the options which facilitate beyond ‘shoot, move, communicate’ and enable a seamless integration into a corporate environment. The bottom line is that it is easy to be a ‘tactical gear nut’ but it is not easy to do so when trying to blend in and stay gray among an executive staff meeting, etc.
Before we begin, I would like to point out that every decision driving your tactics, techniques, attire and gear should be based on your task, threat and environment. Having said that, my typical attire is either business attire, business casual and even sometimes casual dress.While in business attire options are a bit more limited and I go with a tuckable IWB, held by a DeSantis EconoBelt or one from Precision Holsters. In corporate environments, I prefer tuckable IWB as it affords the option of dropping the jacket if I need to without worrying about concerning everyone with an exposed weapon on my hip. Precision Holsters Ultra Carry Elite is my go-to option for this as it is a very well made and versatile holster, it allows me to conceal in comfort without worrying about any common issues with holsters such as printing, retention, irritation, balance, etc. The holster performs as it should, as you’d expect it to, plain and simple. Shown below are my weapon choices as I was recently the first one in the state to qualify with a dot on my duty weapon, so I can now carry my Zev G19 while on the job. (the requirement is to use a weapon unaltered from its purchased condition – hence a full Zev pistol checks that box).
Moving our way around the belt, I also may carry a extra mag in an IWB mag carrier from G-Code, and I will most certainly have one of my on-body medkits (small pouch shown below) which is the Individual Protective Agent’s Kit or IPAK with QuikClot®, SWAT-T®, gloves, band aids and CPR shield. It is designed to have the essential components needed in order to assist in controlling massive hemorrhaging at the point of wounding to bridge the gap until advanced care can be provided. A compact and durable kit, it enables you to carry an immediately accessible trauma kit on your person where it is needed most without the tactical look or excessive size of a full kit.
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I do not always carry a knife as a weapon (it is inconsistent with a suite and tie, IMO, to have a pocket knife showing or worse – to have the handle sticking out of your waistline in your Joe Banks suit…) in which cases I choose to carry a small multi-tool with a clip (Gerber Crucial) which I carry IWB in a business attire, and pocket carry in casual attire.
For communication, I prefer a field programmable radio so I can program into whatever frequencies and codes I need to and with my DMR I can even program in encryption. With communication gear, I consider tracking and coordinating as essential capabilities and for this enter your mobile device, and I commonly carry two. Always know where you are, always know where you are going, report appropriately and have a point of contact at your destination. There are many apps which are incredibly effective for these purposes; Voxer, Life360, Glympse, and Skitch to name a few.
For gear that is not on the belt, starting with the top, I have Smith Optics Elite, in which I prefer the Frontman with ChromaPop lenses. I also will carry a pen which has a stylus and flashlight built-in, a small dedicated flashlight (Streamlight 1L-1AA) and Rite-in-the-Rain note-taking gear. On my keys and on the visor of the vehicle, I have a Swisstech ‘Bodygard’ which has a window breaker and seat belt cutter.
For a ‘go-bag’ I usually go with a The North Face Recon Backpack, with a Go-Ruck Wire Dopp with all of my charging accessories for my phone and others, head sets, duct tape/e-tape/550 cord, laptop charger, and PowerAll accessories; DMR/Analog radio and charger; Rite-in-the-Rain notebook, pens and pencils; tactical pen; flashlight; PowerAll; SwissTech Tools Bodygard; noise cancelling ear buds, cell phone chargers, Breath of Life Masks; (If traveling internationally, I will also pack a Smoke/CO detector) Quest Protein bars; gum and cough drops; small bottle of Rain-X; tire pressure gauge; credentials and business cards. In the main pouch, I have my laptop in the interior sleeve; a clear small hygiene kit and a clear small pill pack and PX Hero “Scout” with trauma gear. For more info on the pack – Read more here
As I said above, your tactics, techniques, attire and gear should be dependent on your task, threat and environment. Keep an open mind to new and different options and constantly challenge your tactics, techniques and gear in order to stay ahead of the curve and at the top of your game. Lastly, you cannot train enough for a job that can kill you.
Stay gray. – JML
Author – Joseph M. LaSorsa, CPP® currently employed as a senior partner managing and conducting: Protective Operations Training Courses, Executive Protection & Bodyguard Services, Risk Management Consultations & Seminars, Workplace Violence Prevention Seminars & Intervention Services, Security Consultations & Seminars, Private Investigations and Technical Surveillance Counter-Measures with LaSorsa & Associates – an International Protection, Investigations & Consulting Firm.