Friday, August 13, 2010


I've got a few years on me now. I've been in law enforcement more than 25 years, more than 30 years if you count my three year break for law school when I still kept involved in law enforcement but wasn't working full time as an officer.

From literally the first day I hit the street, as I've posted here, COPS AND KNIVES, I carried a Buck 110 Hunter as well as one of my Colt's, Smiths or briefly my Heckler Koch P7. Whether in uniform, in a suit or dress clothing, or in jeans on a plain clothes extra job, the knife was with me. I had a pair of aircraft aluminum S&W handcuffs (which a preacher "handcuff collector" paid well more for $300 on Ebay a few years ago) that I carried on extra jobs and occasionally in plainclothes as an extra pair. I carried either speedloaders or magazines for extra ammo, although then it was common to carry in plainclothes 1 speedloader or 1 magazine, since this was well before the popularization of high capacity rifles and assault rifles and the bad guys often were carrying cheap revolvers.

If I knew there might be a strong chance of gunplay on a call or in a situation, I'd grab a Remington 870 extended magazine with a shoulder strap that held extra rounds. A shotgun is almost always better than a handgun in most close range defensive situations.

But always riding along with me on my person was my Buck 110 Hunter Knife. On my first week of patrol, my FTO and I got dispatched to an upside down car in a ditch. The young lady was DOA, and I knew her from high school. Not well, but I knew her on a greeting basis. When enough officers arrived to get her physically out of the car, several tried to cut the seat belt with their knives, which were way too dull to make a full cut through the belt. There was gas leaking from both engine and gas tank, and we had great concern about a fire occurring.

My Buck Hunter was extra razor sharp, as a great friend of mine (then and now) named THE RAVEN was a master knife sharpener and could get my knives twice as sharp as my efforts. THE RAVEN was a motorcycle enthusiast and high-end German car mechanic, and thus had many uses for very sharp and strong knives.

The young lady was able to be cut out of her vehicle before it caught fire, thus having at least some dignity for her remains. We had four officers to carefully extricate her remains from the vehicle

So within my first week of police work, my knife came out of it's belt holster way before my gun had to. By the way, and I think I mentioned this before, but the .45 auto single magazine holder (mine with a snap and flap) works great holding a Buck Hunter and similarly sized knives. Although the Bucks came with a black leather belt holster back then, most every officer I knew used a Clarino (shiny black patent leather) covered leather .45 single stack magazine holder for their Bucks.

I would use that knife many times for many things during my tenure as an officer in Houston.

But that's my first professional use of a knife as an officer, and I've never understood how officers who work the street function without a knife. In addition to self defense, there are so many chores and emergencies in which a good strong knife comes in handy that a good tactical knife should be something departments provide for officers.

I'd be interested to know what knives detectives and street officers rely on in their jobs. Does it hold it's edge? What model and blade length?

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