The highway patrol group can be one of the most grueling duties assigned to any police officer. Not only are the roads rough and ragged, but the physical demand and psychological toll (which is mostly boredom) can also do a number on any officer on a good day and absolutely ruin someone else’s.
But there’s no denying the importance of having a highway patrol group since the nation’s freeways are some of the most challenging areas to patrol. A small disaster in the right intersection can potentially back up traffic for miles, while criminal activity is rampant across the relatively underpopulated stretches. That’s why before you send out any of your officers to this area, it’s important to make sure that they have the equipment they need.
First, there should be communication devices as it is highly likely that they’ll be out there for long stretches of time. Two-way radios and other communication devices should be standard equipment. However, if your department is running on a little more high-tech budget, you can also outfit them with body and dash cameras.
Communication equipment is important for two reasons. First, it allows your units to communicate with other units about potential activity that they should check out. Second, it allows the home base to maintain a reasonable degree of cover over the area that they are assigned.
Standard Law Enforcement Equipment
Of course, no officer on duty wants to go out expecting to apprehend criminals. Still, in case they need to, it’s more ideal if they have all the equipment that they need. For highway patrol, they should have police radar guns, body cameras, and perhaps a breathalyzer and some restraints. There are also times when they also have to put the violator’s vehicle into custody, so planning for that accordingly can really pay off. The communication devices mentioned above will prove to be of great help in this case. In case the civilian doesn’t need apprehending and simply needs assistance, road lights to signal for help are also good inclusions.
A Department-issued Vehicle
While movies and TV shows may have conditioned most of the population to high-speed police chases, the reality is a little less pedal to the metal and more of just hanging out. The vast majority of the highway patrol’s time will be spent inside their vehicles, which means making sure that your department cars are up to scratch. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan for a pursuit. It can and does happen. It’s best to have your vehicles equipped with gear or items that can help with both catching the suspect and keeping civilians safe while pursuit is ongoing. Aside from comfort, police vehicles should also be properly maintained and fitted to allow the officer on duty to attend to his job properly.
Highway patrol groups are some of the most essential parts of our law enforcement. They require the best equipment that a department can issue. This does not allow them to only do their job well but also send a clear message to the citizens under your jurisdiction that you have their best interests at heart.