Initially, the need for a formal system of placing your issued police equipment in a specific order on your Sam Brown duty belt may seem a little nonsensical. But after reviewing Robert Hindi’s Duty Belt SAFETY System DVD, I became a believer. The Hindi Duty Belt SAFETY System
stands for Safer Accessibility, and Faster, more Effective Tactics for You; his motto is “two hands are better than one when it comes to combat.”
Being a professional police trainer, with a focus on officer survival issues, I’m constantly on the look-out for new or innovative ideas that officers or agencies can use to keep their members safer on the street. Until I read about the recent death of Columbia (MO) Police Officer Molly Bowden this past February, I didn’t place a lot of significance in duty belt configuration and equipment placement. You can read about Molly’s murder in any of the Officer Down Web Sites, but in my humble opinion, duty belt issues played a role in her death.
In very basic terms, what 17-year veteran Las Vegas Metro, NV Police Officer Robert Hindi has come up with is a scientifically researched method of placing all your needed equipment (and some of that unneeded stuff we wind up carrying) on your Sam Brown in such a way that it is quickly and readily accessible when you need it. Hindi has in effect, divided the area around an officer’s waist into zones of priority.
Simply, the life-saving gear (duty gun, spare mags, Taser, baton, OC, mic, and cuffs) is positioned to the front of the body, while the less-essential items (pager or cell phone, radio, extra cuffs, and flashlight) are moved to the adjacent oblique rear corners. For that needed soft support at your lumbar area, he recommends placing your latex glove pouch in the small of the back. In fact, the way Hindi puts the whole system together, not only will it save lives, it may also reduce those nagging back injuries and sciatic pains that have plagued veteran patrol officers for years.
Seeing is believing, and mere words cannot accurately describe how fast an officer can simultaneously access two different pieces of life-saving equipment in the event a force situation comes his way. I know of no other system, regardless of how much training an officer has had, that will allow him to access and deploy any of his life-saving equipment with both hands with this kind of speed.
Furthermore, this system also allows officers to move around the Control Continuum much faster, permitting not only proper escalation (from OC to baton in the blink of an eye) but also much quicker de-escalation, too, should it become necessary.
I had the luxury of reading all of the research that went into the Hindi SAFETY System. While this material is not something that would normally accompany the DVD program, I work on a “full disclosure” basis when I prepare product evaluations or field tests. As a result, I wanted to thoroughly examine all the medical documentation for Hindi’s system.
As such, Hindi sent everything he’s researched over the four and a half years that it took him to design this system. Included were papers from certified vestibular therapists, statements from orthopedic surgeons at the Center for Diseases and Surgery of the Spine, and a review prepared by a medical doctor from the Clinic for Occupational and Environmental Medicine along with numerous other letters from chiropractic physicians.
Of particular interest were letters from a half-dozen or so police trainers (who I know well and have a tremendous respect for) as well as testimonials from officers who have adopted the Hindi Duty Belt SAFETY System. The consensus opinion from all of them is that the Hindi Duty Belt SAFETY System is one of the most practical and revolutionary ideas to come down the blue pike in a long time. And I can't agree more.
While most street cops outside of Nevada may not recognize Bob Hindi’s name, most trainers regard him as one of today’s most innovative police tacticians. His patented Hindi Baton Cap has changed the way we look at expandable police batons, and his theories on police ergonomics and psychomotor skills have been proven out time and time again.
I am convinced that from a tactical, ergonomic, and psychomotor skills standpoint, the Hindi Duty Belt SAFETY System will revolutionize duty belt issues from this point on and maybe even save a few cop lives in the process. His system is described in detail on a 40-minute, professionally produced DVD. Once viewed, I am sure that it will convince you to adopt the methodologies that Bob has prescribed. Prediction: the Hindi Duty Belt SAFETY System will become basic duty belt protocol within the next two to three years.Dave Grossi is a retired police lieutenant from upstate New York, now residing in Florida. He is a court-recognized expert in use-of-force issues and testifies frequently in defense of police officers. He is a past contributor to LAW and ORDER magazine. He can be reached at GrossiDave@aol.com.