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The things cops carry


Story by Frank Schultz. Photos by Dan Lassiter.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Janesville police officer's personal equipment can weigh tens of pounds and cost thousands of dollars. Here's an item-by-item look at the things they carry.

HANDGUN

Model: Smith & Wesson M&P .40 caliber semi–automatic

Cost: $500

Ammunition: 165-grain, hollow-point slug that travels at 1,100 feet per second with 500 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Training: Every three months with a requirement to qualify twice a year.

Details: Lights that attach to the handgun work in flashlight or strobe mode. Most officers carry two magazines of ammunition on their duty belts.

PATROL RIFLE

Model: Several models all on an AR-15 platform and all .223 caliber semi-automatic

Cost: About $1,000

Ammunition: 55-grain, soft-point slug that travels at 3,200 feet per second with 1,300 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Training: Semi-annual qualifying required, but Janesville officers train more frequently.

Details: These replace shotguns used in the past.

ELECTRONIC CONTROL DEVICE

Model: Taser Model x-26

Cost: About $800

Range: 21 feet

Weight: 0.75 pound

Training: Five hours every two years required

PEPPER SPRAY

Model: Defense Technology Model MK-3

Size: 1.47-ounce can

Details: Contains 0.2 percent oleoresin capsicum, non-toxic and non-flammable. Also called O.C. spray.

EXPANDABLE BATON

Brand: ASP

Length: 25 inches

Weight: 1.25 pounds

Training: Every two years

PEPPERBALL LAUNCHER

Model: Pepperball SA-200

Range: 60 feet

Details: Holds 160 rounds, uses compressed air to propel plastic balls that spray oleoresin capsicum powder upon impact. This is not shot at a person but rather through a window or into a room, to incapacitate someone. Kept in the shift commander's vehicle.

SPECIALTY IMPACT MUNITIONS LAUNCHER

Model: Defense Technology 40mm single-round launcher

Range: Shoots a projectile with a dense, rounded, spongy tip up to 120 feet. Optimal range is 10-75 feet.

Details: Other kinds of rounds can deliver oleoresin capsicum (pepper) powder or crowd-dispersal gas. Kept in the shift commander's vehicle.

VIDEO CAMERA

Model: Taser Axon

Cost: $499

Specifications: Camera operates continually but saves video and audio only when officer pushes a button, which starts saving video from 30 seconds before the button is pushed. Records up to eight hours

Details: Department has 36 of these.

HANDCUFFS

Brand: Peerless

Details: Officers may buy a spare pair on their own dime.

TOURNIQUET

Some officers carry these as a lifesaving measure for themselves, their co-workers and the public.

LATEX GLOVES

Most officers carry at least one pair.

NOTEPAD

Don't go on patrol without it

WHISTLE

For traffic control. Officers carry orange gloves in the trunk for the same purpose.

BULLET RESISTANT VEST

Weight: Nearly 4 pounds

Details: Department issues one to be worn under the shirt. Officers may buy an over-the-shirt model on their own dime.

RADIO

Model: Kenwood Model tk-5210

Weight: 2 pounds

EQUIPMENT BELT

Model: Most use leather, but some have more flexible, lighter and less durable nylon.

Weight: About 12 pounds fully loaded

All that equipment is great, but it means nothing without smarts, said Janesville Police Sgt. Brian Vaughn. Read the full story: When it comes to a cop's gear, there's no substitute for brains.



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