SECURE RETENTION SAVES LIVES
“One thing you have to remember—going on a call as a police officer—every call you go to, there’s a gun there. It’s the one you bring,” says Officer Keith Garcia, a 27-year police veteran. It’s a sobering fact worth remembering, because every year officers are killed by their own firearms.
“You need a holster you can get access to quickly, but is also very secure,” Garcia says. “Because a majority of the time you’re not going to be utilising your gun, but when you’re in a fight with somebody, a tussle, just trying to arrest somebody, the gun’s always there. You don’t want it easily accessible to the opponent that you have, the suspect that you’re dealing with.”
THE FIRST TO MARKET
The innovation of holster retention is one that has saved many police officers’ lives over the last three decades. In the early 1980’s, FBI agent Bill Rogers and founder of the Rogers Holster Company noticed that many officers were being disarmed from a frontal or side position, not the rear. The impression at the time was that guns were being lost during rear takeaways. Rogers’s observations in the field were verified by the FBI’s uniform crime reports and information from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Motivated by these statistics and several of his own close calls losing a gun in altercations while on duty, Rogers designed and created the Model 070 holster (SSII™ holster) for Safariland—the first true duty retention holster in the marketplace.
The retention feature of the Model 070 is one of the reasons Garcia became a lifelong fan of Safariland. Early in his career, he was rushed from behind by a mentally disturbed man who wanted to kill himself and do it with Garcia’s gun. “He grabs my gun, we start to wrestle over it,” says Garcia. “He ripped on the holster.” But the holster did its job, retaining the gun, and Garcia was able to resolve the issue without getting hurt.
INNOVATION NOT IMITATION
In the years that followed, Safariland has continued to innovate by crafting models of holsters with multiple levels of retention to meet the needs of law enforcement. These systems include the SLS (Self Locking System), the ALS® (Automatic Locking System), and the GLS™ (Grip Locking System).
“There’s nothing else on the market comparable to the Safariland SLS/ALS system in terms of security and safety,” says Garcia. “But it’s also very easy to get the gun out because it’s a repeatable, very ergonomic and efficient draw stroke.”
DESIGN. TECHNOLOGY. TESTING.
“When it comes to building these duty holsters,” says James Dawson, category director for Safariland, “really, we want to focus on three things: materials, details and innovation.” An example of one of these three areas of focus is really evident in the 7TS™ Series Duty Holsters which are constructed from SafariSeven™ material and designed to withstand extremely high heat and low cold tolerances. Additionally, the proprietary nylon blend is completely non-abrasive to a gun’s finish, and extremely strong…it’s designed to have some give but not break. “In fact, the holster itself barely even touches the gun,” says Dawson. “We do this for a reason. If it was to get wet, for example, any sort of water or fluid is going to come out the front of [the holster], it’s not going to sit there on the sides of the gun or in the holster, or possibly swell up any sort of interior material.”
“There’s a lot of different holster manufacturers on the market today,” says Garcia. “Nothing compares to Safariland. The design, the technology, the testing. It’s something that sets them apart. If you truly want the safest, best, most ergonomic design, with the most widest variety of products that fit any weapon that, you know, just about anything you can think of, Safariland’s your brand.”
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