In law enforcement, your patrol car is your office, and organization is vital in a career where every second matters. The need for good organization in a patrol car cannot be over-emphasized. Just like any other profession, when your workspace becomes cluttered and disorderly, this can negatively impact your performance and ability to do your job. We lose valuable work minutes every time we go searching for a lost document or email attachment. To a much greater extent, the same is true for police officers. Precious minutes or even seconds lost while searching for spare ammo or a gun could pose serious and even fatal consequences.
In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Professor Libby Sander of organizational behavior at the Bond University Business School states, “Physical environments significantly influence our cognition, emotions, and behavior, affecting our decision-making and relationships with others. Cluttered spaces can have negative effects on our stress and anxiety levels, as well as our ability to focus, our eating choices, and even our sleep.” Focus and good decision-making skills are just two key job qualifications of police officers that can be compromised when their vehicles lack good organization.
Benefits of Patrol Vehicle Organization
Good and consistent organization provides several benefits.
- Improves work efficiency and productivity – Having gear or other items crammed into your dashboard or shuffling around on the floor, your seats, or anywhere in between doesn’t allow you to quickly and easily find gear or weapons when the need arises. In addition to this, digging around in your vehicle to find the right paperwork or a flashlight can add unnecessary stress to an already stressful job. Time is often of the essence for law enforcement personnel, and having an organized mobile workspace can streamline your equipment and work life. The ability to easily access exactly what you need at any given time will greatly reduce the amount of time taken to perform different tasks, thus boosting productivity and giving each officer the ability to be more efficient.
- Keeps equipment safe and secure – Police equipment that is left loose in the trunk or cab area of the vehicle is difficult to find and can also be easily damaged. Having equipment piled up in the rear of your vehicle not only leads to damage, but also the possibility of it being easily stolen during a quick smash and grab. Keeping your equipment out of sight and secure in an organized storage solution provides for a much cleaner and well-kept vehicle.
- Helps avoid critical mistakes – As is true for anyone, no matter what the job is, individuals under a great amount of stress are prone to make more mistakes despite their best efforts and intentions. Having equipment well-organized and consistently placed allows a police officer to focus on what matters most. With a well-organized storage solution, you don’t have to be worried about grabbing the wrong piece of equipment or frantically pulling things out of a duffle bag during a critical situation. While you may not be faced with a critical incident on every call to which you respond, being prepared for anything that happens is an important part of the job. Whether you’re responding to a serious car accident or actively trying to save a citizen’s life, you want to know exactly where each piece of equipment is that you will need to do your job well before you arrive on scene. This knowledge will drastically cut down on the amount of time needed to access and deploy whatever equipment is needed for your task, providing peace of mind and making the job go smoother.
How to Organize
When organizing your vehicle, the first step is to prioritize what equipment is most used and most essential to your daily job duties. Decide what needs to be easily and quickly accessed to help determine proper placement of gear. The next step is to determine what storage systems or organizers you need to safely and securely store your gear and equipment.
Estes AWS offers weapon storage solutions with our Rapid Access Weapon Lockers. This high security locker safely stores two long guns with enough space for extra magazines and handguns if desired. Estes AWS also offers solutions for gear and miscellaneous item storage in the form of our Storage Boxes. These popular storage solutions come in different sizes based on the individual officer’s specific needs and vehicle type and are designed to give as much drawer customization as possible using our divider packages to keep items separated. Utilizing our Storage Boxes to hold all your gear not only keeps it safe and secure, but also keeps it contained and easy to access. An organized storage space will reduce the amount of time an officer needs to locate equipment specific to the task he is doing, providing quick response time in a critical situation. An AWS customer, Patrolman Alex Roberts with the Greenfield Police Department states, “Being an evidence technician, I am issued a large amount of equipment to go along with standard issued items. Estes’ Large SUV Storage Box provides me with the necessary space to store all of my equipment in a safe and secure location inside my vehicle. This box also allows for personalization in the form of organization allowing each individual to set their box up to their liking, which makes keeping equipment inside a vehicle easier.” Whether it’s preparing for an active shooter situation or photographing a crime scene, Estes AWS products are designed with every aspect of your job in mind.
Contact Estes AWS today, and let us help you achieve an organized patrol vehicle!