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Officer Saftey: Winter Coats Cover & Hide More

It was a topic of our briefing tonight… another one of those things that seems like it’s common sense and goes without saying – UNTIL someone gets burned by it!

It’s winter time so the people we contact will naturally be wearing more layers of clothes and winter coats.  Take extra care when you contact people dressed as such because, in plain common sense English, winter coats and layers of clothing offer an abundance of hiding places for contraband and/or weapons.

Some simple tips for review:

1) WATCH THE HANDS.  Don’t let a person stuff their hands into the pockets of their coat.  Keep them in view all the time.

2) Winter coats offer more hiding places.  Big winter coats often have handwarmer pockets, cargo pockets, interior pockets… when completing an officer safety search, check ALL the possible hiding spots.

3) Winter coats are bulky.  The mere size of a winter coat can easily conceal a weapon or make it harder to feel contraband during a pat down.  Put some effort into it… a light pat will not give up the hiding place of even some of the bulkiest weapons, press harder when completing a pat down so that you can feel the subjects body through the layers of bulk.

4)  Layers cover a lot.  Again, for a thorough search or officer safety pat down, take your time and sort through the layers of clothing.  If a person is wearing a hoodie under a winter coat, be sure to check the pockets of the hoodie as well as the outer coat.

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