Five years ago, shopping for police supplies was nothing short of a hassle. Both law enforcement officers and civilian enthusiasts were often forced to either shop at specialty stores, paying a great deal of markup, or order from catalogs. Fortunately, with internet shopping becoming more mainstream every day, buying tactical supplies online is a much better option; products are often sold at prices far lower than specialty stores, and these websites usually offer far more merchandise than physical retailers. When evaluating a duty gear website, there are two main considerations to keep in mind: the brands available and the type of equipment offered.
Most importantly, a discerning shopper should be concerned with the specific brands of tactical gear available on a given website. While brand name items are not usually an issue for casual clothing shoppers, police supplies are a different matter entirely. Generic brand equipment is often made from sub-par materials, and for a law enforcement officer, this can often mean the difference between life and death.
These cheaper materials may be acceptable for novelty items, but for actual use, shoppers should search for recognizable tactical brands like 5.11 Tactical, Smith and Wesson, and Under Armour, among others. Websites specializing in these brands are almost always of a superior quality, both in terms of equipment and customer service.
As a general tip, the quality of any given website's police supplies is often reflected in its knife selection. Websites selling inexpensive unbranded knives without a given steel grade should be avoided at all cost; these knives are usually made cheaply overseas, purchased for a few cents, and sold domestically. Websites carrying these types of knives use this same business model in all their products, and it is a safe bet that any tactical gear sold by them would not be fit for actual use.
On the other hand, websites carrying knives made by KA-BAR, Benchmade, Cold Steel, CRKT, and Spyderco clearly have a focus on equipment quality. These knives are almost universally considered as the most rugged and versatile blades on the market, and any website carrying this kind of equipment will be a good choice to buy from.
Once it has been established that a particular duty gear website carries quality brands, a shopper should next consider the actual type of equipment offered. Most online tactical stores sell basic police supplies; gloves, uniforms, knives, and handcuffs. However, in addition to the basic supplies mentioned, the best specialty websites offer far more specialized equipment, including tactical entry tools, forensic gear, narcotics and drug testing kits, tactical vests, and even K9 gear. As a rule of thumb, the best websites not only offer quality brands, but highly specialized equipment for both law enforcement and forensic investigation.
Shopping online is by far the best option when looking for police supplies; buyers have the potential to both save money and have access to a wider array of equipment than a traditional retailer could offer. This method of shopping offers numerous benefits both for individual enthusiasts and entire police departments, and for this reason, it is essential to choose the best possible website to purchase from.