What’s in your pocket?

AmericanCop.com editor shares his secrets
; .

This is the gear Erick carries on a regular basis, all of which
is based “… on an honest assessment of my world.

So, GUNS Editor Brent reached out to me — as the editor of AmericanCop.com, the newest editor in the FMG world — and asked I go over my own kit of everyday gear. While I’m a retired cop, I’m not interested in doing cop stuff anymore but paying attention to the realities of the world today, there are times when I’ll scale it up.


A small, purpose-built med kit and a notebook holder
for things Erick needs to remember.

Stop The Bleed

After the military and before becoming a cop, I was an emergency medical technician working on a search and rescue team and an ambulance so carrying medical supplies is the norm in my life. For this, Live The Creed has an easy-to-carry pocket trauma kit. It’s a wallet-sized pocket kit holding QuikClot gauze, a SWAT-T tourniquet, adhesive dressings, gloves and a couple other handy things.


Erick uses the Skeletool more often than anything else. The POM is nice to have,
but it hasn’t been needed — yet.

Light It Up

You can’t identify things if you can’t see them — and you can’t see them if they aren’t illuminated. How do you illuminate? With a flashlight of course. Ever been in a building when the power went out? What about trying to find something in the dark?

I’ve bought and used a bunch of lights over the years. Sadly, I’ve lost many but my day-in, day-out light is a TerraLux TT-1. It runs off a single CR123 cell. I can attest it’s water-resistant, given the number of times I’ve washed it by mistake. This model has worked for me for several years.
Unfortunately, the TT-1 is no longer made, so as an alternative I’d recommend Streamlight’s Pro-Tac 1L-1AA for a general-purpose light.


Erick’s pistol, a Smith & Wesson Performance Center Shield in 9mm (with optic), knife and reloads.

Pocket Tools

Multi-tools are the epitome of the Jack of All Trades concept. Besides being easy to carry, they do a bunch of things though not any one thing well. I’ve used various models over the years — Leatherman, Gerber, Swiss Army, Schrade, etc. At the advice of a friend in the aviation world, I picked up a Leatherman Skeletool. It’s a minimal design so it’s light and doesn’t have a doohickey to do everything but it’s lean and easier to carry. The roster includes pliers, a single knife blade, flat and cross-tip screwdriver, with both a pocket clip and a spring-loaded gate for attaching.

The Skeletool has proven to be a godsend for the road trip I’m taking while writing this column. The sway bars for the trailer I’m towing have spring-loaded locks. The only thing with me that releases them every time? The Skeletool’s flat tip screwdriver blade!

I like this design so much, I’ve bought more.

Several months ago, I also started carrying a notebook. I use one from Eagles & Angels which holds a notebook and business cards so I don’t forget suggestions or ideas.

But what about guns and knives? We’ll get there.

The contemporary environment has changed radically over the last few years. As a result, I like the idea of having OC spray available. A POM OC canister is attached to my keys. To steal a line from Chuck Haggard of Agile Tactical Training, it’s nice to have something between a harsh word and a gun.

What about guns and knives?

Yes, I carry a knife. A smaller design of the Colonel Blade is my regular fixed blade. Sadly, they too seem to have gone out of business.

I also carry a handgun and a spare magazine as a matter of course. Most of the time, it’ll be a Smith & Wesson Performance Center 4″ Shield 9mm with a pistol-mounted optic. The extra magazine has a +2 extension for a total of 10 rounds. The holster is from JM Custom Kydex and I’ve bought more than a few holsters from them. The mag pouch comes from Tucker Gunleather.

If you’ve been following AmericanCop.com, you’ve seen a series about evaluating your situation to make an informed decision on your gear choices. In my reality, this setup handles over 90% of the difficulties in my life. Base your gear choices on a realistic assessment of your world.


Subscribe To GUNS Magazine

Get More Carry Options content!

Sign up for the newsletter here:

Purchase A PDF Download Of The GUNS Magazine September 2022 Issue Now!



Burris Fastfire...

We all want the top-of-the-line sights for our top-of-the-line pistol, but after we finish lying about it to our gun buddies, we go home and start shopping...
Read Full Article
AGS Brass Case...

At last year’s SHOT Show, I met the Serbian inventor of what I’d argue is the very best semi-automatic case annealer. It handles cases with bases from...
Read Full Article
Taurus .357...

As closely as I can count, I’ve had extensive experience with over 75 .357 Magnums. This includes single and double action revolvers, semi-automatic and...
Read Full Article