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This safety tip and the responses first appeared on Policeone.com.
Matt, MPPD, Ill.
I never thought I’d wear an ear piece attached to my Motorola HT1000, but I swear by them now! I feel a lot safer on a traffic stop knowing the violator can’t hear my radio traffic/warrant hits, officer safety hits, etc. After all, criminals do know what the infamous tones mean.
Also, the earpiece is great for clearing buildings, alarm calls, etc. If the perp is inside, he is not going to hear the chatter on the air.
P.S. Don’t wear cologne or perfume while on duty. It gives your presence away to the unsuspecting.
Deputy Joseph Hicks, Kootenai County (Idaho) Sheriff's Department
I second the post regarding radio earpieces. I bought one and haven’t looked back. I reserved as a patrol deputy and wasn’t issued a radio that would allow it. I wish I had one then. Now working in the jail-corrections setting, I was able to purchase one for my HT1000 and will testify that it’s a huge officer-safety item I feel should be issued to all officers.
Whether on patrol or in corrections, every tactical edge we can give ourselves should be exploited. Whether we’re on t-stops, alarm/building searches or bar checks, simply being able to hear radio traffic in a loud environment is a tactical advantage.
Another tip for those who have shoulder mics: If your uniform allows it (i.e., no tie), clip your mic onto the front of your shirt just below your chin. With the earpiece in your ear, there’s no reason you can’t have the mic closer to your mouth. If you end up in a scuffle on the ground with someone, having the mic on your chest will allow you to keep both hands free to maintain good weapon retention and suspect control.
If that happens, you can use your chin to key-up the mic to radio assistance. I’ve found myself using my chin to key-up the mic when I don’t have a free hand.
Be safe, be smart, go home, God bless.
Saul Soto, Spring Lake (N.C.) Police Department
I’ve been using a earpiece for three years, and I’m the only one in my department that does so. I love the fact that I’m the only one that can hear the radio traffic. There have been many situations that if I didn’t have the earpiece, the suspect would’ve heard that they were wanted, and who knows what would have happened. If your department doesn’t issue it to you, invest in one. Believe me, you won’t regret it.
Wesley Robinson, Bermuda Police Service
I just read the previous statements about earpieces, and I can vouch for the excellent job these earpieces do. We use the Motorola XTS3000, and transmissions have never been clearer. On alarm calls and foot chases, it’s very useful. I recommend every officer [use] one.