This safety tip and the responses first appeared on PoliceOne.com.
>> Jason Bissell, Muskogee, Okla. It sounds like a weird scenario, but tucking your bootlaces inside your boots could mean the difference between life and death. I learned this the hard way the other night, and, luckily, it was not a life or death situation. I was backing one of my department's plainclothes drug-investigation officers on a traffic stop in a notorious part of town, and when I went to step out of my patrol vehicle, my left foot would not move. Looking down, I realized my double-tied bootlace was wrapped around the emergency brake pedal. It took about 15 crucial seconds to free my foot. I'm sure you can think of several deadly scenarios that could happen to an officer in this situation. From now on, when I'm wearing Class A uniform trousers (which I was wearing that night) or BDUs tucked into my boots, I will always tuck my laces into my boots.
>>Jason Menclewicz, Calumet City (Ill.) Police Department
I read Bissell's submission about his bootlaces getting caught on the emergency brake pedal of his patrol car. Although he did not mention what type of car he was driving, I would not be surprised if it was an Impala. My department has just made a switch to the Impala, and this has happened to me as well. I drove various Crown Victorias for almost nine years and never hooked my laces. But the pedal position in an Impala is located much higher off the floor than in a Crown Victoria, [so your] bootlaces [can] sweep the pedal upon exiting.
>>Mike Georgoulis, Danbury (Conn.) Police Department
Jason, try this. Pull your laces tight, wrap the excess around the top of the boots, then secure the laces with a square knot. Tuck the small excess into your boots. The square knot will never loosen up, and you have nothing to get caught. Plus, you have a more professional appearance with no laces sticking out from under your trousers or flopping around if your trousers are bloused.
>> Hugh McIntyre, Delaware River Port Authority
The lead PT instructor who taught my academy class instructed us to tuck our laces inside of our shoes regardless of whether we were wearing boots or shoes. The primary reason: He and a fellow officer were involved in a foot chase in which the subject jumped a 4' chain-link fence. His partner supported himself as he cleared the fence, [but] as one foot came over the top of the fence, a dangling lace caught [on the fence]. The officer landed face down in the dirt. Although the subject was caught by another unit, the incident demonstrates the risk of not tucking in laces.
>>Constable Simon Moir, West Australian Police Service
We don't have bloused trousers, so instead of putting the laces back into our boots, we simply put the laces around the top of the boot and then fold the top of our socks back over to cover them. Might not be perfect for all, but it works for me.
>>James Gill, Bradenton Beach (Fla.) Police Department
I wear side-zip boots. After putting them on and fitting them, I tie a knot and cut off the rest of the laces.
>>Craig Petterson, Strathclyde Police
This may not work for all types of lacing systems, but I have worn my laces in my patrol boots both in the infantry and police in the following manner for over 20 years. Start by removing the lace from the boot entirely, and place a knot at one end. Lace the boot up with the other end. When the boot is on, tighten up the slack, wrap the lace around the top of the boot and tuck the last inch or so back through the lace. Your lace won't come undone and won't catch.