Conway Tactical Supply may be a new name in town, but its mission lies in continuing a great legacy.
Formerly known as Direct Police Sales owned by Steve Thacker, Conway Tactical Supply provides uniforms and other gear for first responders, such as police officers, firefighters and EMTs.
The company also carries tactical-gear footwear and self-defense equipment.
Earlier this year when Thacker decided to retire, he was approached about selling his business.
New owner Nick Canant and General Manager Dewey Mahan opened the shop under a new name in May with hopes of continuing Thacker’s work in the community.
“We knew that it had to stay in the community. Steve has served a lot of people and has for 40 years,” Mahan said. “[We] knew there was something that needed to keep going on there.”
Mahan said the new ownership hopes to continue to fill a need for the community and the many departments and agencies that surround Conway.
“The biggest thing is taking care of our local officers and first responders, and having a place in Conway,” he said. “Being able to take care of our hometown people.”
Though open to the public, Conway Tactical Supply primarily focuses on first responders.
“The core of our business is supplying a full uniform for police officers,” said Mahan.
From head to toe, CTS supplies hats, shoes, uniforms, insignias, duty belts, body armor, equipment, and pretty much everything minus firearms.
The store also has a seamstress on staff who assists in alterations in order to customize the uniform to the officer.
Civilians who shop at CTS are typically interested in the self-defense equipment, Mahan said.
“With everything going on with current events, our biggest sellers are pepper spray, stun guns and spiked key chains,” he said.
Mahan said that in the past week alone, the shop’s 4-foot self-defense display had to be restocked three times, with an estimated 150 cans of pepper spray, 40 keychains and 12 stun guns sold.
The influx of defense needs doesn’t seem to be targeted to a specific group, as Mahan explained to the Log Cabin that he has had customers of all demographics and age groups purchasing the supplies, the youngest being 14 years old.
“There’s not a mandated age on those particular items,” Mahan said.
He said the shop plans to expand its medical side by carrying equipment such as gauze, tourniquets, stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, body armor and more.
The shop plans to mail letters to all of the departments previously accommodated by DPS with the new Conway Tactical letterhead and contact information to help spread the word of the continuation of Thacker’s legacy.
“We’re proud to be able to continue the tradition that Steve started and we look forward to serving the community for many years to come,” Mahan said.