Keeping Your SWAT Gear Fresh in the Summer

Police officers get into challenging and dangerous situations at the most unexpected times. Even a traffic cop can be shot unexpectedly which happened recently in Philadelphia. A simple vehicle roadway stop with four people inside turned into a life-threatening shootout with a critically injured cop who is presently fighting for his life. 

This happened last week when a thirty-one-year-old officer and his partner stopped a car in the evening in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia for a routine vehicular stop. When the officer checked inside the vehicle, he saw a man with a gun who exited the vehicle while firing three times at the police officers critically injuring one of them who is now in Temple University hospital. This officer was taken into surgery to remove bullets from his neck and is presently on life support. The officers were checking the car to see what was in it when they noticed the gun holster. The suspect and the other three car occupants (women) were apprehended and brought into custody. 

No one knows when and where a cop will find his life endangered, and he must be ready, willing and able to respond. He can pray to stay safe and make sure that his gear is in the best condition in any weather. Summertime is upon us, and it is so vital that our police officers are ready to keep the citizens of their city safe. Wearing gear that is both comfortable and safe will help them in maneuvering and running in the most efficient ways possible. 

1: What type of material? 

Some police departments in cities that have summer climates all year long allow their officers to wear summer uniforms. Here are some vital specifications that should be considered when looking for a summer uniform besides the obvious of changing from long sleeves to short. 

There are several brands such as Blauer SUPERSHIRT® ,which has several styles from military-tactical style to the performance patrol polo. The mesh panels in these shirts help to keep an active officer cool. Shirts that include cotton can be polo knit types which are breathable or lightweight cotton blends. 

If you are a rookie or this is your first summer on the force, make sure to check with your superiors on the regulations of using the lighter weight gear to keep you cooler in the warmer weather. Generally, most police departments call for officers to wear pants even in the hottest weather so ask before even thinking of purchasing shorts. There are specific tactical shorts that have all the access pockets that the pants have if you are on bike or horse patrol. The bike patrol shorts are made from synthetics such as spandex combined with nylon which are breathable when you are biking on an extra-long rotation. 

2: What about those officers who need to wear body armor? 

A great idea is to buy a product called ARMORSKIN® polo which is worn under your regular bullet proof vest in addition to a summer type of polo. No one wants to risk their life because of the heat when you are in the middle of a dangerous police shift therefore try wearing your carrier on the outside to keep cooler. 

3: What about that sweaty smell on my tactical armor? 

There are a couple of ways to keep your vests from taking on a horrible smell that is hard to get rid of. Once the sweat and grime gets into the vest it's hard to keep it sweet smelling. Regular odor removal sprays and soaps might seem like they work initially but when you leave home after you think they are clean you can smell the odor coming through again. 

What you need to find are special soaps and sprays that are specifically intended for SWAT and army gear. These soaps and sprays have delicious yet potent scents unlike regular air purifiers and soaps. For example, a peppermint scented soap or tactical spray cleaner will immediately give the officer or soldier a fresh taste of a mint or gum. These long-lasting sprays are especially formulated to keep gear such as bullet proof vests from having a foul odor when worn for extended periods. In fact, the spray can be kept in a police car or backpack and used as needed. 

Battle boots are especially culprits for horrible smells that are hard to get rid of. If an officer is fortunate to have more than one pair of shoes or boots, then he can really give them a good once over. By spraying on some tactical spray and rubbing it in you will get double the cleaning power when you let the gear dry. But even if you are on call and just want to take a coffee break and can’t remove your garments you can simply spray them and feel the relief of some good clean fragrance. 

4: What are some other ideas to keep our police officers or swat teams comfortable? 

Warren Wilson, a captain for an Oklahoma City Police Department has some suggestions to improve the quality of life for police officers. He has been a training chief as well as a prior SWAT team captain. Even though you have been given the basic Swat gear there are additional products that are very important to buy depending on how much you can spend. 

A: Lights - There are different types of lights that are helpful in a variety of situations. Wilson claims that you must have lights on your guns for your own safety and security. A dimly lit light is a huge help when trying to identify objects from a distance, as long as it is not noticeable by the enemy. He suggests keeping a small light on your bulletproof vest and another one on your belt. 

B: Hydration Packs - Camelbak hydration packs are extremely essential for an officer during the summer. These packs can hold three liters of water with room for your phone and in some cases your tactical spray cleaner. Wilson tells how one summer in Oklahoma he almost fainted from dehydration from the combination of body armor, helmet and the intolerable heat of the Oklahoma summer sun. Fortunately, his teammate was able to hydrate him with his own leftover water after dragging him into the shade. 

C: Binoculars - Wilson advises that each member of a Swat team should carry a tiny pair of binoculars in their pockets. It is so challenging when you are lying in wait for a potential criminal, and you just can’t see that distant with the naked eye. You certainly want to avoid shooting or not shooting the wrong person. 

D: Fence Wire Cutters - Classic Swat officers always carried multi- tools on their belts and a wire cutter is a must. Officers never know when they will have to climb a fence and sometimes it’s smarter to cut a hole in one than to try to scale the fence, especially those really tall ones that are protecting warehouses or homes. Classic multi-tools such as LEATHERMAN are always in style even though there are cheaper versions make sure that the one you buy is strong enough for your needs. 

E: Anti Fog Spray For Goggles - For those of us who wear glasses we all know the problems that foggy lenses cause. For those regular citizens it's just an annoyance when walking into a warm house in the winter and having your glasses fog up. You can just take a cloth or tissue and clear them up. However, for those who are in the business of saving lives, including their own, those seconds that it takes to clear their glasses could be a moment in time between life and death. 

Warren Wilson wrote about a terrifying story that happened to him. He was on a call of a sniper barricading himself with hostages and the suspect actually came to the front door. At this key moment when Wilson had a chance at him, he could not see a thing because of foggy glasses. 

F: Protein Packed Food - Uniforms have different types of pockets and there may be one just the right size for a package of beef jerky or some mixed nuts. It’s crucial for people in the field of protection to be both hydrated and filled with some protein, not knowing when a dangerous call will be over. A wife may be waiting for supper, but she certainly won’t be upset if her guy skips it as long as he has some protein on him. 

Final Words 

It’s so hard for police officers to struggle with the summer heat wearing heavy uniforms. Some stations will allow their crew to wear lighter short sleeved shirts and shorts. Heat causes dehydration so it is imperative that the officer always has water on him. In his gear bag he may also have some room for a tactical spray bottle to help keep the bad odor of sweat away. Let’s pray that we do not hear of any tragedies while our police officers are keeping us safe this summer.



Our loyal American police forces have been through lots of traumas these last few years. many b..


Police officers get into challenging and dangerous situations at the most unexpected times.