Tag Archives: public safety

Do First Responders Have The Tools To Communicate Properly?

Do first responders have have the ability to communicate properly and efficiently when emergencies occur?

Are first responders being given the tools necessary to communicate with other agencies in times of crisis?

A recent NPR.com article helps bring light to the discussion – and – what to do with a portion of the public airwaves that potentially could be used to create a wireless network to be used specifically by first responders and other public safety groups.

Jeff Johnson, past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, says first responders “lack the equivalent of the national interstate freeway system. What we have is a bunch of small local roads and streets, and they are built without contemplating what your neighboring community is doing.”

The opportunity? To allocate an unused portion of the public airwaves for use by police, fire and other first responders. This unused spectrum of the airwaves is referred to as the D-block.

During emergencies, this network would allow police, fire and other agencies to: D-block airwaves public safety

  • maintain uninterrupted service
  • speed communication
  • share video
  • share information
  • provide better safety efforts within local communities

On a basic, but vitally important level, this network would allow for easier communication between agencies which would result in better public safety services.

Sorting out the details of how this network would operate and sifting through its complexities is now a Congressional matter.

Vice President Joe Biden called it “our shot to significantly increase the safety and security of the American people. It is as important as anything we could do by a piece of legislation.”

And while most within the public forum support a national network, questions remain about how to achieve common goals. Some proponents offer a different perspective on the D-block spectrum. In a statement from John Kneuer, Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning and External Affairs at Rivada Networks,

“What public safety needs most is not just ‘infrastructure’ or ‘spectrum.’ What it needs is capabilities such as priority access, survivability, and rapid recovery in a crisis, as well as specialized services to support their missions. All of these capabilities can be provided today by multiple vendors, leveraging existing infrastructure and spectrum.”

*At Galls we try to provide current and relevant information about issues that affect our customers. The question of how to better the communication abilities of public safety agencies is complex and varied. The intent of our blog post is to highlight the issue. We hope that you find the information valuable.

If you have comments or thoughts that you would like to add to the discussion, please post them below.

Choosing the Right Public Safety Boots

Choosing the right pair of boots for public safety use is extremely important. A good pair of work boots can make all the difference in how you feel at the end of a workday. Aching feet, sore leg muscles and potential back pain are issues that no one wants to deal with on a daily basis.

What are the benefits of choosing the right pair of boots?

  • Personal comfort
  • Better work enjoyment
  • Increased performance
  • Safety
  • Reduction of work related injuries – foot, leg and back pain
  • Career longevity

You may have never thought about your work boots this way, but the reality is that your choice of footwear is a vital component in making your workday a success.

galls footwear

As you shop around for a new pair of boots, keep these attributes in mind.

  • Fit and Comfort
  • Intended Use
  • Performance and Durability
  • Value

Shopping for new boots can be overwhelming, but if you think about your daily work activities you can use the above attributes as a checklist.

Don’t get overwhelmed. Just think about what your daily routine is. What activities are you involved in? What regulations do you need to abide by? What do you expect from your footwear?

Fit and Comfort

First and foremost, finding boots that fit – and fit comfortably – is absolutely key. This is the footwear you’ll likely use for eight demanding hours a day (and likely more), week after week after week. You want your feet to be comfortable. Comfortable feet equal comfortable backs.

Choosing the right size is the first step. Don’t purchase boots that are too small or too large. It’s good to try on the shoes with the actual socks you intend to wear with them.

If you found a pair that you like, walk around in them. Do a quick sprint or some knee bends to see how the shoes react to different activities.

Does the shoe have a cushioned sole? Is it easy to put on and take off? These are simple but important questions that will affect your buying decision. Remember, fit and comfort are based on how you feel. Accept other opinions, but try the shoes on.

Intended Use

The second thing you want to consider when shopping for new boots is their intended use. What do you do at work? How active are you? Are you a city cop or a volunteer fireman in a rural district?

Thinking through what your daily activities are will influence the style of boots that you buy.

If you have a desk job, a traditional dress uniform oxford is probably the better choice for you as it will provide the needed comfort your daily routine requires. The other option to consider is a more athletic and work oriented oxford that is part tennis shoe and part work boot.  oxford police shoe

If you’re looking for boots, here are some things to consider:

  • Does your boot need to be waterproof or water resistant?
  • Do you need steel toe or composite toe protection?
  • Will you require an insulated boot?
  • Do you need a quarterboot or full sized boot?
  • Will a shoe with metal affect your activity?

It’s important to understand the need for steel toe protection. If you worry about things or people striking your toes during the workday, then consider steel toe boots.

However, if you routinely go through metal detectors and other security checkpoints at airports, courthouses and other governmental buildings perhaps a composite toe would be a better choice. Composite toe boots can offer nearly the same protection as a steel toe boot, but are lighter weight and are more ‘friendly’ to metal detectors.

Performance and Durability

Once you’ve thought through how you’ll use your boots, you may want to consider how they will perform during your daily duties. This is less about what you will use them for and more about how you will use them.

This is also a good time to read through reviews of boots, paying attention to what others have said about them. It makes good sense to read both the positive and negative reviews. After reading through the reviews you’ll have a better sense of what is important to you. But again, remember, footwear is personal and opinions are subjective. Try to form your own opinion based on as much information you can get.

Here are some further things to consider: 

  • Does the boot allow for ‘easy on’ and ‘easy off’?
  • Will they be slip resistant on wet floors, steps, pavement and terrain?
  • Are they easy to keep clean?
  • Do they offer shock absorbing padding – for walking and occasional running
  • Are they lightweight?

Your boots are going to be used for a variety of activities, from mundane routines to challenging conditions. Do you need a boot that can take a beating? Do you need one that’s lightweight, but can withstand the rigors of public safety?

Value

And lastly, you must consider value. To do that, you need to determine what the boot is worth to you verse how much it is going to cost?

When contemplating value, consider:

  • How much does it cost?
  • Am I going to foot the entire bill myself? (yes, pun intended)
  • How often will I use the boots?
  • How long do I expect them to last?
  • What am I sacrificing if I don’t purchase the right boot?

Overwhelmed? You shouldn’t be. Most of the decision-making process is subconscious and intuitive. Your personal tastes balanced with your work requirements will lead you in the right direction every time. Yet, you are making an important decision and it’s always best to gather as much information upfront as you can.

At Galls, we want you to find the work boot that’s right for you. If you have any further thoughts on choosing the right boot or other work footwear, please let us know in the comments below.

Police Lineups Get Second Look

“The largest reason for false imprisonment is mis-identification” 

This long-held sentiment has driven courts, police departments and state agencies across the country to look for more reliable ways for eyewitnesses to identify possible suspects in criminal cases.

Witnesses play a very important role in the administration of justice in this country. Their testimony is often the key to identifying, charging, and convicting suspected criminals.

In some cases, eyewitness evidence may be the only evidence available. Yet, eyewitness evidence is not always accurate. Even the most well-intentioned and honest witnesses can identify the wrong person or fail to identify the actual criminal.

In the balance is equity and justiceLady Justice Eyewitness

A false identification can turn an innocent person’s life into a nightmare. A failed identification can offer a criminal free pass. In the balance lies the victim who seeks only equity and justice for the offense against them.

Now, instead of using the traditional police lineup, where five to six ‘possible suspects’ are brought in before an eyewitness, new methods are being used to identify suspects.

Some of those new police lineup methods can be found below:

NOTE – these methods are provided by The Innocence Project, which continually pushes for more effective methods of criminal identification (and who have outlined alternative options in a simple manner).

1. The “Double-blind” Procedure/ Use of a Blind Administrator:  A “double-blind” lineup is one in which neither the administrator nor the eyewitness knows who the suspect is. This prevents the administrator of the lineup from providing inadvertent or intentional verbal or nonverbal cues to influence the eyewitness to pick the suspect.

2. Instructions: “Instructions” are a series of statements issued by the lineup administrator to the eyewitness that deter the eyewitness from feeling compelled to make a selection.

They also prevent the eyewitness from looking to the lineup administrator for feedback during the identification procedure. One of the recommended instructions includes the directive that the suspect may or may not be present in the lineup.

3. Composing the Lineup: A suspect photograph should be selected that does not bring unreasonable attention to him. Non-suspect photographs and/or live lineup members (fillers) should be selected based on their resemblance to the description provided by the witness – as opposed to their resemblance to the police suspect.

Note, however, that within this requirement, the suspect should not unduly stand out from among the other fillers. (More detailed recommendations can be provided by request by the Innocence Project).

4. Confidence Statements: Immediately following the lineup procedure, the eyewitness should provide a statement, in his own words, that articulates the level of confidence he has in the identification made.

5. The lineup procedure should be documented: Ideally, the lineup procedure should be electronically recorded. If this is impracticable, an audio or written record should be made.

6. Sequential Presentation of Lineups: When combined with a “blind” administrator, presenting lineup members one-by-one (sequentially), rather than all at once (simultaneously) has been proven to significantly increase the overall accuracy of eyewitness identifications.

The over-riding goal of lineup evolution and reform is to provide a better, more reliable system for identifying criminals through the use of eyewitness accounts. The livelihood of too many parties depends on the ability of the eyewitness – as well as law enforcement – to make accurate decisions.

*this post does not reflect the opinion of Galls, but does serve to provide relevant information to the law enforcement, public safety and judicial community.

We hope you can enjoy these blog posts for what they are – resources for a better understanding of the stories, trends and culture that impact today’s law enforcement.

Law Enforcement And The Power Of Relationships

In the world of Law Enforcement and Public Safety, the value of relationships are powerful and important.

Why are they so important? Because relationships are the foundation for positive and successful police work. Your ability to create and maintain solid relationships with those you interact with are key.

Relationships affect the level of service you provide to the public as well as your ability to relate to victims, witnesses, suspects and criminals. Investing in these relationships will allow you to do a better job, and ultimately, be a better and more effective police officer.

These relationships take many forms.  As an officer, you are connected very closely with:  Creating Relationships Police

  • The public that you protect and serve
  • Those persons in violation of the law
  • Your partner
  • Those in your chain of command (both above and below you)
  • The business community that you interact with
  • Other public service entities (fire, EMS, social agencies, etc.)
  • Your spouse and your family

For most law enforcement officers, the relationships they create are absolutely vital. The positive payoffs are varied and unending. Your ability to connect with others may break a lead in a case, or force a confession or even get you a promotion.

Much like any other line of work, cultivating natural and healthy relationships will eventually have noticeable benefits.

  • Spending hours a day on patrol? Get to know your partner and allow them to know you.
  • Gathering information from witnesses and informants? Think about what makes them tick; what their motivations are.
  • A certain crime beat reporter is always on the scene? Buy them a cup of coffee on occasion.
  • Carrying work stress home with you? Talk to your spouse or other family members.

What makes a successful, effective and content police officer?  And how do you become one?  Hard work to be sure.  Taking advantage of unseen opportunities, yes. And likely developing strong and lasting relationships.

Networking, connecting, socializing, associating, mingling and interfacing are all ways to boost your relationships. Tell someone thank you. Recognize someone publicly. Buy a round of drinks. Powerful relationships are seeded over a long time period.

Devote a little time to building stronger relationships. It’s competitive out there – even in law enforcement where public safety takes center stage.

Have specific suggestions on how to build powerful relationships?  Share your comments below.

Help Celebrate Public Safety Appreciation Month With Galls

In honor of National Safety Month, Galls is pleased to announce Public Safety Appreciation Month to recognize all of the men and women who work in public safety roles across the country.

We value your commitment and service to your local communities and to the nation at large. And we are extremely proud of the new and ongoing relationships we’ve established with:

  • Police Officers
  • Public Safety Officers
  • Law Enforcement
  • Fire Fighters
  • Emergency Medical Responders
  • Federal Officials
  • Military Personnel

Through the Galls.com website, Galls Facebook page, Galls Twitter and through the Galls Blog, we’ve been able to have real conversations with you. We absolutely enjoy it.

Your engagement and interaction with us – your personal stories, your links to news reports and your shared accolades for others – shows how much you care about your fellow public safety officers.

We truly appreciate the connections we’ve made with you.

Please drop us a line to say hello – we’d love to talk.

 

Police: How To Stay Safe While On Duty

Personal safety is a key concern for police officers and public safety officers.

Quite simply, law enforcement can be difficult, dangerous and potentially deadly. In 2010, 132 police officers died due to gun and traffic related incidents. Assault and injuries numbers were much higher.

How can you better protect yourself and your fellow officers?

Understand that safety is an issue: Just being ‘safety conscious’ is very important. This guiding principle will help you to be better prepared and will allow you to better manage situations that may occur while on duty.

Follow proper police procedure: The number one thing officers can do to keep themselves safe while on duty is to follow proper procedures.

Almost every law enforcement or public safety situation has its own specific methodology for doing this. Whether you’re making an arrest or managing a traffic stop or handling a domestic dispute, there is a procedure to follow.

Procedures were created – and have evolved – to protect officers and the communities they serve. Proper procedures allow law enforcement to be managed legally, efficiently and safely.

Don’t take risks: Being ‘safety conscious’ will keep you grounded and will help alleviate the desire to take unwarranted risks. Let proper procedures guide you and aim to err on the side of caution.

Communication is vital: Communication is your lifeline. It’s why the relationship you have with your partner and fellow officers is so important. Your life may depend on someone else.

Technology allows today’s police officer to maintain closer contact than ever before. Using the tools that are available to you is essential to doing your job well – and doing it safely.

Ask for help: As an officer, you are trained to work both independently and in teams. Your partner, your fellow officers and your chain of command offer lines of help. These ‘systems’ are in place to allow you to ask for help when help is needed.

Use the right equipment: Choosing dependable law enforcement equipment that is crafted specifically to match the needs of your job will ultimately help you be safer. Comfort, reliability and efficiency will help give you peace of mind and allow you the ability to focus on the job at hand.

At Galls, we care deeply about the safety and welfare of our nation’s police officers. The job that you do, the service that you provide to your communities, is never taken for granted. Be safe.

2 Reasons Why You Need A New Tactical Flashlight

It’s time for a new tactical flashlight. Have you considered upgrading your older model for something new?

What is a tactical flashlight? Very simply, a tactical flashlight is any flashlight used with a handgun with the purpose of illuminating a target. These flashlights are typically small, lightweight and handheld (though many options can be weapon mounted).

There are a variety of techniques for properly using your tactical flashlight.  These techniques are based on both the situation and the level of comfort of the user. Sometimes the technique is dictated by the flashlight being used.

There are two main reasons for obtaining a new tactical flashlight: Galls.com Tactical Flashlight

  • You are no longer comfortable using your old flashlight
  • Your weapon has changed

You are no longer comfortable using your old flashlight. The gear you use every day is critical to you. It is an extension of who you are. Comfort, reliability and personal preference play an important role in determining what gear you choose use and how you use it.

When using a tactical flashlight in the line of duty, its positive—and negative—attributes become quickly obvious. This is when officers and service personnel begin searching around for other options. Ultimately, the type of tactical flashlight you choose and use on a daily basis will be based on personal preference.

Your weapon has changed. If you have a weapon mounted flashlight and your issued handgun has been phased out, chances are your flashlight will no longer fit your new weapon. If this is happening to you, it is time to go shopping.

You may also have personal weapons at home and are looking for upgrades. What is compatible with your weapon at work may not be compatible with your weapons at home.

Need another reason for a new flashlight? Maybe you just like new gear. Maybe you’re enthusiastic and passionate about the products that are used in your line of work. Seeing what someone else is using can also be a motivating factor.  Upgrading to the latest model is easy.

Remember, most gear is standard issue. And while standard issue gear is generally very capable of doing the job, many agencies and departments do allow public safety officers, police officers and military personnel to upgrade to something ‘better’ and more personal.

There are many options to consider when purchasing a new flashlight. With the many great brands available, the choice is up to you.

Consider these questions when researching your new tactical flashlight:

  • Should I choose a rechargeable or battery operated light?
  • Is handheld or weapon mounted better for me?
  • How much light do I need?
  • What is within my budget?

What are the four attributes of a good tactical flashlight?

  • Weatherproof
  • Lightweight
  • Long lasting
  • Durable

If you’re seeking a new tactical flashlight, there are great options available at Galls.com.

If you have suggestions about how to best use your tactical flashlight, please share them with us in the comment section below.