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Thread: Gear for Academy

  1. #1
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    Gear for Academy

    Besides department issued gear and the gear they tell us we need to buy which covers the basics, is there anything that you wish you had when going through the Academy or anything you did have that you'd recommend? Or any tips/tricks on making gear look as good as possible?

    This is for a Sheriff's Department Monday-Friday 7AM-4PM style academy, not a live-in.

  2. #2
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    8" boots. Taking good care of your feet is a good starting off point. I had 6" boots and I really wish I had spent the extra money and gotten the 8" boot that was waterproof. You are going to be on your feet a lot so good footwear is not something to be bought cheap. 5.11 makes excellent boots.

    I do not know what part of Cali you are in, but if you are in a part that might get cold, investing in something that will keep you warm, but still keep you effective at doing whatever training you are doing is a big plus.

    I would try my best to also have everything I would possibly when I arrived at the Academy. We essentially had three uniforms. Although we might of only worn one or two of them on any given day, you better believe I had all three, plus spares with me every day when I went to the Academy. This might seem like a lot to bring with you, but leave it in your car and when that day comes that you spill something on your uniform or one of your buddies does, you can swap out uniforms or loan your extra to your friend.

    As for keeping your gear looking good, I never really encountered this issue. If my duty belt got dirty some water and a rag did the trick. If you are going to be shining boots, well my method involved polish, a rag and a hair dryer. Heat works really well to get that polish to shine. One guy in my class used a blow torch.

    Also, don't be that guy,

    Good luck.
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  3. #3
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    get the best boots possible. go cheap on other things.

    A second set of cuffs is nice,

    I wish I bought a better flashlight.

    What I did instead of two sets of boots (one for inspection, and one for duty) was I wore regulation shoes to class (much cheaper than good duty boots).

    Nothing else comes to mind. It's too easy to buy a bunch of extra junk. I only bought what was required.
    _____________
    "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

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  4. #4
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    Lint Roller
    Nice refillable water bottle
    Lunch cooler
    Comfortable pens for writing, I had one set for uniform/inspection wear and nicer ones for writing.

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    If its not supplied, a Surefire LED flashlight (with or without a strobe setting). Definitely. Especially for building and vehicle searches.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDH2007 View Post
    If its not supplied, a Surefire LED flashlight (with or without a strobe setting). Definitely. Especially for building and vehicle searches.
    I would shop other brands like Fenix or Olight before going to Surefire. I know Surefire is the "LE standard" but I really think there are better lights out there.
    This show is awesome, wrapped in supercool and smothered in bitchin. The only way it could be cooler is if he was riding a unicorn or something.

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  7. #7
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    Good information.
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  8. #8
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    All of this is great information!

    1) If you go to OCSD, you will be wearing corfram shoes. Most people in my class only have 1 pair. Buy an expensive ($80-100) pair rather than a $40 pair. The comfort will pay off in the long run. The best way to clean these are with pledge wipes and a microfiber cloth. If they get scuffs in them, use a little gasoline on a microfiber cloth and buff the scratch out.

    2) Uniforms. You will likely be issued 3 uniforms. If at all possible, order 2 more on your own dime. It will pay off. I have 5 uniforms. I keep one in my locker if I ever need to change out. I rotate the other 4 between wearing them and the dry cleaner. Lint rollers are necessary. Buy one for home, keep one in the car, and one in your war bag to use in the classroom. You will be using it several times a day.

    3) Duty belt can be polished at the local Galls near the Katella facility. Let them do your gear and all you have to do is maintenance and upkeep.

    4) Boots will not be needed until approx the 6th week of the academy. Buy a comfortable, name brand pair of boots. You don't get much of a chance to sit at the range, so you will be standing for hours. Also, SIDE ZIP!!! Very functional and easy to don and doff. Polish-able toes are also required.

    5) Flashlights will be used during report writing class, range, and during scenarios. Buy a good flashlight. I personally have a Streamlight Stinger. It's big enough to fit under my arm for note taking, but small enough to fit on my belt comfortably. It is also rechargeable. Spend the $90-120 on a good rechargeable flashlight.

    6) Pens were mentioned by someone. Get about a dozen of the same brand/model of pen. You will be writing a lot of RIRs and will want a comfortable pen. You also will have your uniform pen/pencil set. You will hardly use these as they are mostly for looks.

    7) Cuffs will be provided. You will not need a second pair of cuffs in academy training. With the set you are issued, make sure you cycle them over and over. You want them to loosen up a lot. It will help during Arrest Control Techniques class by keeping your partner from being injured and it is just easier for you to function, especially when stressed.

  9. #9
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    ^ Great info. Especially since I'll end up at the OCSD academy assuming everything goes as expected in my BG.

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    Working the cuffs is something that isn't mentioned a lot, but really bears mentioning. New cuffs tend to be very stiff, which also can prevent you from applying them correctly without using a little extra force. On the streets, I'm of the opinion who cares? But in the academy, you will be putting cuffs on your class mates up to hundreds of times a day. If you have to slap them a little harder, you can end up bruising wrists (probably going to happen anyway on a heavy DT day). My recommendation is get a good gun oil (I like the Winchester gun oil with teflon it it, it lubricates well and teflon sticks well to keep lubricated), soak the cuffs, and then just spin them through locking mechanism repeatedly while you are watching TV or something. Wipe them down when when you get down to get the excess oil off. When they spin through with barely any pressure they are ready.

    Also I would never buy any flashlight that is not rechargeable for LE use.

  11. #11
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    Do you guys that have been through the academy already recommend wearing a watch?
    MarkJ2515 likes this.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSPhopeful View Post
    Do you guys that have been through the academy already recommend wearing a watch?
    I always wear my watch at the academy except in our PT gear. (dont want it getting hung up on a fence or anything)

  13. #13
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    Any recommendations on what type of watch?

  14. #14
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    Similar to the handcuffs, new magazines can be really difficult to load until the spring loosens up a little. If you're not issued your weapons at the beginning of the academy, it might be worth your time and money to pick up a couple extras and start feeding them now to save a sore thumb and speed up your reloads when you hit the firearms portion of your training.

  15. #15
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    i've always liked the Timex watches, decent price and works forever. Remember no need to go and and buy all the expensive toys like watches and sunglasses. They will break and get lost. Some items like flashlights are worth extra bucks. Just dont let a strem light roll off a 8 foot ladder, it wont work. For handcuffs I have had great success with S&W over Pierce. The S&W were loose and did need any oiling like the Pierce. I carry both my go to are the S&W but if the guy is being an Adam Henry he gets the other set.

    As mentioned above spend the money and get extra uniforms. I had 6 sets one for every day with a back up. And I always took an extra set each day until the junior class showed up. Keep extra PT gear in your bag along with socks and underwear. Always have enough pens, pencils and erasers.Rubber band all of your stuff. On my first day they did a bag inspection dumping everything out expecting it roll every where. Needless to say my stuff just flopped out.
    NAVYATOR likes this.
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  16. #16
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    I was told to buy a cheap flash light for the academy. Reason being is its going to get thrown around and there is little sense in ruining a nice duty capable flash light. Thoughts on this?

  17. #17
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    I'm a watch, pen and flashlight geek. Any of the Casio G-Shock are recommended, and can be worn during ANY activity, though in DT you'll take it off as a safety precaution, not that it will get broken. You'll use the stopwatch feature during PT. Two absolute musts: make sure that any and all alarms, beepers, buzzers, gongs, hour chimes and such are silenced. Having it go off in class will get you tuned up, having it go off on a stealth entry or building search will get you killed. Go to the USNO/NIST website and set it by their time hack. When you get to your Academy, ask your lead instructor/commander what time they have, and adjust accordingly.

    You aren't going to destroy a duty worthy flashlight in the Academy. The LED Streamlight Polytac is arguable the best bang for the buck. I'm not a fan of rechargeables, particularly in cold climates. A couple spare 123s take up no space or weight, and if bought in bulk they drop considerably in price, so do a group purchase of a 24 or 48 pack and split them up. You'll also need a keychain type light such as a Photon or INOVA for administrative stuff like finding lost mags at the night shoots.

    Never take anyone else's recommendations for pens: like holsters, what works for them may not for you, and you'll go through zillions before you find one that fits. But, make certain that you get the right color: most places mandate black. And practice your penmanship. If Academy staff can't read it, you'll keep re-writing until they can. Having a dictionary goes without saying.

    Find a running store that can evaluate your feet and stride, and have running shoes professionally fitted. Ignore the high price - it's cheaper than getting flushed out due to ankle or foot injuries that could have been easily prevented with quality, well-fitting shoes. I'm not sure that ultralight shoes are the way to go.

    And learn to live without a cell phone for 8 hours.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by deweese_b View Post
    And learn to live without a cell phone for 8 hours.
    I LOL'd at this one - my wife asked me how I'm going to be able to handle life without my cell phone for 8+ hours a day!

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