Many police departments across the country received grants from the federal government to purchase new riot control gear during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Unfortunately, many departments rushed to obtain new riot gear without undergoing the proper training to use the equipment. They seem to think, “It’s nice to have, but that will probably never happen here.” Most would probably agree that it’s better to have the equipment and know how to use it than to have the equipment and try to figure it out on the fly. Here’s a look at why riot gear training is so important for your local police force or corrections officers.
The Risk of Riots & Civil Disturbances
A riot can be a career-ending incident for an improperly trained officer. Civil disturbances are unpredictable events and no one can know ahead of time whether one will spiral out of control. Mistakes can lead to property damage, injuries, or even death, which in turn leads to officers losing their jobs due to improper training. You want every officer to go home at the end of the day with their lives and careers intact. The way that is achieved, time and time again, is through proper training.
Benefits of Training for Riots Ahead of Time
It’s been said that ten properly trained police officers can do a better job at containing a riot or civil disturbance than 100 untrained ones. Shared skills and working together as a team are much more effective than each officer working separately as an individual.
Teams of officers who train together to deal with crowd control are able to prepare more rapidly when it comes to “gearing up.” They also know their role when it comes to operating as part of a team. Training ahead of time in all aspects of riot control, including the proper use of riot gear, prepares your officers for the worst-case scenario. This protects not only your officers but also the public when it comes to civil disturbances.
Officers who train together as teams are more effective at crowd control in general. Training also prepares officers to recognize the difference between a constitutionally protected protest and an illegal assembly. Making effective, legal, and prosecutable arrests during a civil disturbance is another benefit of regular training for riots and crowd control.
Necessary Components of Riot Gear
The ideal riot control suit will offer head-to-toe protection for officers who may have to respond to civil disturbances. Haven Gear’s riot suits are designed to offer excellent protection against blunt force, stabbing, and slashing, and are even fire-resistant. The ballistic carrier allows your officers to insert panels, plates, or both as needed. The molded polypropylene panels provide excellent protection for the torso, shoulders, forearms, thighs, groin, and shins, in addition to a helmet, boots, and Kevlar or hard-knuckle gloves.
Haven Gear’s suits are also body cam-ready, which is very important in crowded situations. Sometimes a police body cam system is the only way to provide an unbiased and unedited version of events after the fact.
A full set of riot gear involves a lot of moving parts. It’s essential that officers not only train in a full suit of riot gear but train to put it on properly in the first place. Sometimes protests or civil disturbances can pop up without notice, so being able to quickly gear up and respond is vital.
Knowing how to use the gear is just as important as knowing how to put it on. It’s one thing to say that their gear is able to absorb blunt strikes or slashes when they’re wearing it. It is another thing entirely for them to trust the gear and know that it will actually prevent injury. Training on how to use riot gear to protect against strikes, projectiles, and other hazards is crucial.
Haven Gear has an array of state-of-the-art riot gear suits that can meet the needs of any police force or correctional institution in the country. Contact us today to discuss how our superior riot suits can help get your officers ready for anything.