Every year, my wife asks me the one question I try my best to avoid: “What do you want for Christmas?”
I guess I am like most cops. I like toys, and cop toys are especially fun. It is hard for most of us to justify our spouses spending the money on gifts for us, so we tend to minimize the whole thing and we wind up with a sweater instead of the latest tacti-cool toy we really wanted.
So, without further ado, here are the things cops want for Christmas. If you are needing ideas for the cop in your life, one, some, or all of these may fit the bill. Some are expensive, some are free. Hopefully, though, the list can get your mind moving and you can find the right gift for your loved one.
- Guns – Long guns, hand guns, and crew-served weapons are all acceptable.
- Ammunition - Practice ammo for the duty gun is a good bet. Ammo for anything purchased in #1 is also a good idea.
- SureFire flashlights – The E1B Backup is a great little off-duty LED light that switches between 5 lumens and 80 lumens depending on your need. The G2 LED is a nice, reasonably priced (less than $40), 80 lumen duty light. For more money, the 8NX Commander is a solid rechargable 110 lumen duty light.
- Street Survival Seminar – Calibre Press travels around the United States offering a fantastic two-day course on officer safety for law enforcement officers. Anyone who has been (including me) will tell you it is worth every penny.
- Books – I’ve noticed that most cops like to read. Writers like Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn are popular in the fiction category and Massad Ayoob and Dave Spaulding are good for the non-fiction, cop category. Personal favorites include Term Limits (fiction) and Handgun Combatives (non-fiction).
- Law Officer Magazine – This is a great magazine with practical information for the street cop. Unlike some of the other magazines, this one is written for the officer on the road and first line supervisors, not administrators. They used to offer free subscriptions, but I have been told they are now charging for the magazine. Frankly, this publication is worth paying good money for. Get it for free if you can, but do not hesitate to buy it if you must.
- Trip to an Advanced Firearms School – Most families do not have the money to afford this, but if you can afford it, a trip to an advanced firearms training school like Massad Ayoob’s Lethal Force Institute or Gunsite is invaluable. Some schools are better than others, but I reccomend LFI and Gunsite without hesitation.
- Pink Handcuffs – ASP introduced a new series of handcuffs a few years ago that offer some nice improvements over other brands on the market. One of the neat features of these handcuffs is that they come in different colors. While the department may insist on “Tactical Black“, every cop I know wants a pair of pink ones to carry the real idiots to jail in. One note – these cuffs are slightly larger than other brands, so you may want to buy the ASP handcuff pouch also.
- Your Love and Support – This one is free, but far more important than anything else on the list. There are a lot of awful things a police officer sees, hears, and is involved in that he or she may never come home and talk about. How do you explain to your spouse the feelings you had while standing in a hospital room looking at a dead infant, killed by a cracked-out parent? Let the cop in your life know that you love them and support them. Send the kids off to grandma’s house, if you can, and enjoy a bottle of wine together. I cannot emphasize how important a gift this is.