As a police officer, you may spend hundreds of hours each month in your patrol car. Just like your personal vehicle, it’s easy to let the mess take over, but a few of these tips will help make sure your car is kept tidy while equipment, paperwork and firearms are secured:
Lock down firearms
The importance of keeping your firearm secure cannot be overstated. Police gear needs to be both well-fortified and easily accessible in case you have to access it quickly. In order to accomplish this, consider installing a gun rack. When picking one, however, make sure you get one that is specifically designed for your firearm. For example, a patrol rifle will not fit properly into a shotgun rack, leaving you vulnerable to theft and making it more difficult to access in an emergency. There are a few different options when it comes to laying out your firearms, so choose the one you are most comfortable with. These can include mounting guns between the seats vertically or horizontally – depending on whether you have a cage or shield – or vertically near the dash.
Aside from your cab, there is plenty of police tactical gear that has to be stored in your trunk, but more on that later.
Clean out your cab
When you spend 8-plus hours each day in your car, it’s easy to make it feel a bit like home. You may leave personal effects around or some paperwork here or there. These days, keeping your cab organized is more important than ever due to all of the gadgets that modern patrol cars have – mobile digital terminals, laptops, radios, video systems or radars, just to name a few. You may find that, once you get your car organized and give everything a proper place, your daily tasks can become easier. Invest in organizers – there are some that attach to the passenger seat for easy access. They will have slots for report forms, ticket books, reference materials, blank and completed citations, and writing utensils. There are also carriers available that can hold a flashlight, extra ammunition, maps and anything else you need during your day-to-day duties.
Tackle the trunk
There are few places in a car that can collect junk as quickly as the trunk of a car can. For personal vehicles, this can just be a minor inconvenience. However, for patrol cars, a disorganized trunk can lead to lost or damaged equipment and slow response to emergencies. Depending on the make and model of your patrol car, you have a few options when organizing your trunk. The famous Ford Crown Victoria, for example, manufactured a trunk organizer to make it a bit easier for officers, but not all cars have that option. There are plenty of trunk organizers available on the market, so consider your needs while picking one. A lockable storage box or security drawer will ensure that the weapons are kept secure, and well-designed locks still allow for quick access in an emergency.