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Gear and career maintenance for the new year

The beginning of a new year is a great time to assess your gear and see what needs to be cleaned, replaced or updated. Do you have the same belt keepers you were issued in the academy, and now you’re an FTO? Replace them. Is your duty holster starting to show signs of extreme (IE: dangerous) wear? Get a new one. Are the rounds in your extra magazines tinged with green? Get to the range, use them up (and put another couple of hundred rounds through your pistol while you’re there) and get some fresh ammo. Take your belt, your gun, your rifle, and your shotgun out and clean them. Check your baton, your handcuffs, your TASER and the rest of your tools for wear; clean what’s dirty, fix what’s broken…now.

This is also a good time to consider a second gun, another knife, and a well-equipped “go-bag” if you don’t have any or all of those items. Make safety, survival and winning your priority for 2009!

And while you’re at it, polish your badge, check for your commission card, and update your court calendar. Being organized and well-equipped now can eliminate lots of stress later on. Happy New Year Crimefighters!

My column is undergoing a bit of an identity crisis. I’ve been writing for the Street Survival “Newsline” and the P1 Newsletter for several years. As a Street Survival seminar instructor, I write about officer safety and survival, but I’m also a supervisor, a mom, a trainer, a cop’s wife, and dare I say, a woman, so I’ve got a lot to say about any number of topics (what woman doesn’t?!), and I’ve always received great feedback from our readers. So when Police One approached me and asked me to author a monthly column dealing with women’s issues, I enthusiastically agreed. “What a great opportunity” I naively thought “to bring issues to light that both women and men in law enforcement could all relate to, perhaps discuss at roll call, and ultimately learn something from each other.” Yeah, just call me Sergeant Pollyanna…I forgot that by calling it a “women’s” column, not only will most of our male readers skip over it, but so will at least half our female readers. What?! Why in the world wouldn’t women read a “women’s” column?! Because, there are a lot of female crimefighters out there like me who have spent a lot of years just trying to blend in, to be “one of the guys” if you will…to be perceived as and conduct ourselves as “warriors,” not “victims.” We don’t want special treatment; we just want to be cops.