How to Store Tactical Gear
1. Consider workflows when locating storage.
Tactical gear is rarely used in most police departments, so store it where it’s accessible but out of the way. Some agencies store tactical gear near vehicles. Others store it near the briefing room, or near the officers’ locker rooms.
2. Think about what needs to be stored now and in the future.
Although it can be difficult to predict future needs, think about gear that you’re likely to acquire in the next five to ten years. Also consider your department’s projected staffing growth when designing police locker rooms or other areas.
5. Design a storage system that optimizes space.
Tactical gear can be bulky, so think about how to make the most of every cubic inch.
4. Measure gear that needs to be stored.
It might sound obvious, but measure and measure again! It’s a lot easier to correct a mistake on paper than in a steel locker or shelving unit.
3. Design for best practices.
Specialized gear usually has specific storage requirements. For instance, ballistic vests should be stored flat (horizontally) to air dry between shifts. Well-designed lockers and shelving help encourage officers to follow best practices.
We can design police lockers and other tactical gear storage solutions just for you, with configurations that are ideal for your team and equipment. Tap into our expertise with a free, no obligation consultation.
Tactical gear storage in police lockers.
To provide quick access to gear inside a secure room, this law enforcement agency designed specially configured police lockers to store tactical equipment.
Location: The specialized SWAT locker area is located adjacent to the briefing room, so officers can go immediately from briefing to deployment.
Security: The entire room is secured with badge-swipe entry, ensuring that only authorized officers can enter and access stored gear.
SWAT Locker Features
Double-wide lockers and drawers provide plenty of room for tactical gear and personal belongings.
Doorless police lockers offer quick, easy access to weapons and other gear.
Internal compartment with padlock hasp secures personal electronics and other valuables.
Weapon support rail and base securely store weapons inside locker.
Built-in wooden bench provides seating and space for extra drawer capacity.
Crowd Control Gear Storage
A time-tested way to save space is to store seldom-used items away from high-traffic areas. For instance, bulky crowd control gear doesn’t need to take up valuable space in officers’ locker rooms, particularly in communities that rarely experience civil unrest. This small-town police department opted to store shields, helmets, and other rarely used tactical equipment where it would be near vehicles for quick access and deployment, but out of the way of day-to-day operations. Temperature-sensitive equipment like electronic communications gear is stored indoors, near the briefing room.
Location: The room opens onto the garage and is accessed via double doors. The close proximity to vehicles makes it easy for officers to access and put away gear.
Security: The entire room locks with a key.
Gear Storage Features
Space is optimized with sturdy steel shelving that’s perfectly sized to store shields, helmets, and bags of protective pads.
Missing equipment can be identified at a glance, ensuring that officers always have the gear they need to stay safe.
Shelving can be easily reconfigured without special tools if storage requirements change in the future.
Body Armor/ Ballistic Vest Storage
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, ballistic-resistant body armor has saved the lives of more than 3,000 police officers over the past 30 years, and nearly 80% of police departments have implemented mandatory use policies.
To maintain optimal effectiveness over time, most manufacturers require body armor to be stored:
- Flat, horizontal and unfolded.
- With nothing resting on top, to prevent compression.
- In a well-ventilated space to allow the vest material to dry thoroughly.
That’s why Spacesaver’s FreeStyle police lockers are designed to accommodate sturdy steel trays for drying ballistic vests. Louvers provide ventilation and the tray’s location ensures that nothing heavy can be stacked on top.
Tactical Gear Bag Storage
A separate room for tactical gear storage isn’t always an option, but it’s still a good idea to keep specialized equipment separate from gear that’s used every day. That saves space in police locker rooms and reduces wear and tear on equipment. For example, this police department put unused wall space to work by installing tactical lockers along a corridor.
Location: Because the police locker room is for officers’ uniforms, personal belongings, and other items that are used daily, this police department opted to store tactical gear bags in smaller lockers located in a corridor.
Security: Each tactical locker locks individually.
Tactical Bag Locker Features
Each locker can be secured with a built-in combination lock and / or a lock attached to the hasp.
Louvers provide ventilation.
Space is optimized. with three tiers of lockers that are sized perfectly for gear bags.