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Paul Clinton

Paul Clinton

As the POLICE Web editor, Paul Clinton contributes posts about patrol cars, motorcycles, and other police vehicles. He previously wrote about automotive electronics as managing editor of Mobile Electronics. Prior to that, he was an award-winning newspaper reporter.



William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.
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Fill Your Own Stocking

As you finish your Christmas shopping list, don't forget to pick up some needful things for yourself.

December 23, 2013  |  by William Harvey - Also by this author

Photo: Andrew Malone via andrewmalone%20via%20Compfight%20cc%20" target="_blank">flickr
Photo: Andrew Malone via andrewmalone%20via%20Compfight%20cc%20" target="_blank">flickr

It is the end of the year and while you check off your gifting list for family and friends you most likely feel the need to go Christmas shopping for yourself, too. Maybe you need a last minute tax deduction on professional and safety equipment before the end of the year. I know that at this time of year I require some of what I call needful things for me, for I truly love myself. Matters not what you call it, these are my immediate plans.

Got Ammo? This question seems to be the first line that everyone utters when they walk into a gun shop or cop shop. I do not have time to wander into the weeds of conspiracy theories, ammo hoarding, and ammo companies' lack of production. Forget the chatter and seek out some good ammo and practice ammo because it's useful to have. One of the steadfast Harvey Rules of Life is that anytime you go to a shop and see a value, buy at least one box to have on hand. Thanks to following this rule, when prices soared and availability was bleak, I had ammo.

Additionally, some are now considering or taking up the hobby of reloading. Another Harvey Rule: Always be on the lookout for reloading components. Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to load up some rounds and finding that you are out of primers, powder, or projectiles. If you are getting into this hobby, buy supplies in bulk, for that is where the real savings are.

As much as I love reloading, when it comes to buying gear, nothing makes me feel any better than a new knife in my pocket. Considering a new knife? It doesn't matter what kind. It could be a tactical, multi-blade traditional, rescue-style, Swiss type, or multi-tool. You know you have wanted one, now go get one. Knives are tools of our trade and we need them daily to perform our job. I don't care if you are peeling an apple or cutting seat belts. Invest in a quality knife with great steel and the features you need, not what somebody else tells you. This is as personal as it gets, so purchase what fits your needs and job tasks.

Another category of gear you might want to think about buying is maintenance equipment. It makes for great stocking stuffers, and if you know you'll get a discount if you spend $100 but need to round it up, then throw a few in the cart.

I can always use new gun cleaning equipment like a brush, rope tool, or my favorite gun cleaner wipes. A handful of these wipes in the range bag allows you to wipe off your weapon with a cursory cleaning before the thorough cleaning later in the day. How about a knife sharpener of some fashion, as well? Many now are simple and put a decent edge on the blade with a few swipes. Hearing protection is another good example of safety equipment you might want to update; through years of usage they eventually lose their effectiveness.

New sunglasses or shooting glasses are also always great to have. The everyday ones often get scratched up, and if you wear prescription lenses you might need a pair with a new prescription. Do not follow ZZ Top's advice and get yourself some cheap sunglasses. Seek quality and safety as well.

Some of you may scoff at my advice but first of all, you deserve it. Secondly, it may save you money. Just be sure that when you purchase tools and safety equipment that you keep all of the receipts and consult your tax preparer, for many of these are deductible. If you are purchasing for your vocation and saving money (and taxes), then why wouldn't you? The more you spend the more you save; at least that's what I tell the wife.

Make next year a great year for you, your family, and your career.

Tags: Knives, Ammunition, Eyewear, Eye Protection, Tactical Gear, Firearms Maintenance


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