Years ago my back up officer and I were doing an interior check on a house. The burglar alarm had sounded and I found the front door open. He arrived quickly and we were looking for a burglar. About half way through the interior check he stopped me and said to wait. He then loaded his gun! Often the basic stuff gets us into trouble. When you start your shift, inspect your gear. Is your gun loaded? If you are faced with an armed confrontation, that’s not the time to find out.
Check your handcuffs and make sure they are not double locked in the case. It makes it really hard to put them on a suspect when they are double locked. Check out your radio. We have take-home handheld radios and I always just swap out a new battery every time I work. Are all your other bits of gear where they belong? OC spray? Baton? Knife and pen and paper and handcuff key and car keys and all the other little things. Does your flashlight work? Even in the daytime you need to carry a flashlight.
Check out your patrol car. My partner and I went through eight vehicles one shift before we left the parking lot! The radio was not transmitting. The tail lights were out. The breaks were bad. The car would not start. The overhead lights did not work. The radio would transmit but not receive! The car would not shift out of park. Finally we got one that would work. That takes a while to do a complete check on the car but it’s worth it. Check your equipment before you go on patrol, it may save your life, that’s what the SGT Says.