police plate carrier

How To: Police Plate Carrier Setup

A police plate carrier is the officer’s most vital first defence when it comes to protecting his or her vital organs. These vests integrate numerous modern materials making them both unit integral and user-friendly.

That’s why all police officers today and law enforcement agents get equipped with the best police plate carriers in the marketplace. All brilliant police officers understand that their vests are their best friends every time they are facing armed suspects.

Bearing that concept in mind, you ought to also understand that preparing your gears is as vital as preparing yourself. Of course, you do not want to get yourself killed while reaching for additional magazine placed on the ill side of your police plate carrier. Your plate carrier will only be as helpful as you prepare it to be.

So, regardless of whether you’re a professional tactical vest wearer or a newbie, below is a straightforward guide to help you set up your police plate carrier like a pro… or at the very least make you look a little less goofy.

The first step to setting up your police plate carrier

Let us assume you’ve got the police plate carrier you need to prepare in your hands. The answer to the question “how can I set up my police plate carrier” is similar to the question, “which type of car should I purchase.” The answer to both these questions is dependent on how you plan on using the items.

The first principle you should always recall when setting up your police plate carrier is the simple “fact” that your plate carrier is also alive, and therefore it’s continually developing and adapting to new gear, training manoeuvres, environments, and so much more.

This implies that you do not need to stress yourself out. Nothing here will be permanent; and when you ultimately figure out your plate carrier set up, the best terms to use instead of “this will always be the way I set up my plate carrier” are “this is simply my current plate carrier set up.”

One more thing to always keep in mind is your police department’s armor policy. In simple terms, make sure you keenly read your police department’s policy on gear and even prepare yourself to break some from time to time.

Apparently, in the typical operational setting, the top 3 priorities of every American police officer should be “do not die, do not get fired, and do not violate any person’s rights.”

Now let us dive a little bit deeper.

Always keep things streamlined when setting up your vest

You cannot bring with you all kinds of gear regardless of how much you want to. You’ll always end up taking the necessary pieces of equipment because your police plate carrier has limitations on how many items you can carry.

In addition to that fact, it’s always good for you if you keep things simplified when engaging suspects. Make it a rule that your perceptiveness must be downrange on hazard zones every time you are reaching for an item in your carrier.

When needed, you should be able to reach all your items with ease without forfeiting your visibility to your adversaries. This means getting your gear without having to look at your carrier.

Even more, ensure that you position your gear in such a way that they allow smooth reloads and prevent unintended snags with slings or cables.

Always preserve the front pouch for magazines

This is among the central laws of setting up your carrier. A standard load of 2 pistol magazines, for instance, would fit well on your carrier’s front pouch.

This is as long as you do not have to carry with you stacks of magazines or chest-mount extra pistols.

Most plate carriers usually carry numerous pistol magazines. Dependent on their usage, 5 pistol magazines are habitually enough for standard loadouts.

We also have double plated police carriers wherein you can feel free to double up your refill magazines. This might sound interesting at first but be cautious; the double plated police carrier might make you feel too heavy that you’ll have a hard time throwing yourself over rooflines, rock ledges, window frames or roofs.

Place things centered

Customarily, you would like to place weight on your weakest side. For example, left-handed police officers will want to set most items on their left side so they can move freely on their right.

But then again it is different when you’re wearing a police plate carrier. You pretty much want to balance weights and place items at the center.

In case you are not strong enough on your left side, you are advised to balance off the weight using a bleeder stopper set such as IFAK, BOK, or anything you might have. Place the bleeder stopper on the left side of your pistol magazines (but remember, do not place it too far to the left).

Even more, do not place your plate carrier on the extreme sides. One of your hands should be able to access your pressure dressings or bandages easily. Wounds to hands and forearms are generally common when engaging in close range gunfights. Bearing this detail in mind, you ought to make it easy to access your medical kit with one of your hands.

Keep your shoulders clean

A clean vest setup allows this officer to easily shoulder their primary weapon.

Keep the front areas of your shoulders as clean as possible.  Ensure this region is clean of restraints, handcuffs, key holders, and even baton holders.

At some point amidst your engagements, you might have to swing your hands to block shots coming from your weakest side.  Some other time, you might have to place your rifle butt (assuming you’re even allowed to carry one with you) over your shoulders to initiate an accurately aimed long distance shot.

Prevent any sort of chaos on the rifle buttstock junction and let yourself experience a more comfy wear by keeping either front sides of your shoulders clean. This UTG vest allows for some pouches up high while also allowing room for shouldering a weapon

Make the pistol easy to access

Here’s another concept you should always bear in mind; “Treasure offence just as much as you Treasure your defence.” Your pistol ought to be placed in a region where you won’t experience any interference when drawing it. It would be better if the pouch on the kit just beyond your draw line is not occupied.

You’ll be able to perform a quick transition drill if you abide by this trick. This implies that you won’t encounter any pouch when dropping your hand to get our pistol.

Pistol mags: Most crucial placement decision

Most police officers prefer equipping their handguns using a belt holster while others prefer placing them on their thighs. In case you are one of these individuals who run their pistols off the vest, then you should setup your reloads where reloads are quickest. It’s critical to place these away from clutter.

The newer mag pouches such as the 5.11 pistol mag pouch with bungee cover are firm enough that you could run without the bungie cover and not risk losing your mags. This allows super quick reloads as there’s no velcro or snap cover to slow you down. The bungie cover system is still very quick and probably a good idea to keep over the mag incase you find yourself in a wrestling match or jumping fences.

Depending on how you have been training, or are currently being trained and would like to adjust, keep in mind that extra pistol mags in the correct location could save your life. Keeping you eyes on the threat is important while reloading. You’ll want to reload with your weapon in front of you and be able to reach your mags without looking.

There are several different training methods for reloading. However you chose, when reaching for that magazine, you’ll want to be sure it’s in the pouch in the same manner so that when it comes time to perform the reload, you can do so without looking, fumbling around, and very, very quickly

I cannot stress enough that it is still critical that you place your pistol magazines in the most comfortable position, without clutter, where it’s easiest to reach and quickest to reload, because seconds matter in a gunfight.

Use a hydro bladder

Another great tip is to bring with you a hydro bladder that you can tie to your police plate carrier’s rear. You can use this expedient add-on for storing things that you do not usually need immediate access to.

Such items include water purification tablets, a drive on rag, an extra pressure dressing, and so much more.

Right place for your tactical flashlights

Getting your tactical flashlights will never be a quick draw contest, so placing it on an area where you would have to reach across your body can be perilous. Many tactical flashlights like the ones produced by Surefire, are compact and put out amazing beams of light. This allows you to get rid of the larger lights and stash 1-2 of these on your vest without taking up valuable space.

Do you remember the medical kit we mentioned earlier? You can stick your tactical light carrier immediately to its right. In case it does not suit your preference, you can attach it to the low-far left side of your police plate carrier. This spot lies right below your armpits line.


Shop wisely and always check your police plate carrier for any rips, broken seams, or tears. Nothing can be worse compared to getting all set up and ready to engage an armed suspect only to start having essential items falling off when the operation kicks-off.

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