The BlackHawk Operations Jacket is good for off-duty or plainclothes carry. Image courtesy of BlackHawk.
Holiday gift buying can be a pain for everybody. It's hard to know what anybody really wants without asking them. And buying gifts for cops can be really hard.
So once again, the editors of POLICE Magazine offer you our annual holiday gift guide. Note: We've allowed some inflation this year. The price limit for 2010 is $350 (Yes, we know. That's a substantial gift).
5.11 Tactical: Chameleon Jacket
Designed for undercover or off-duty wear, 5.11 Tactical's Chameleon Softshell Jacket is made of 100 percent polyester bonded softshell material with a brushed lining. Taffeta around the inside of the hem reduces abrasion from duty belts. The Chameleon has three exterior pockets, including two handwarmer pockets and an upper arm sleeve pocket. The interior of the jacket has three pockets. Available in three colors: black, dark navy, and a combination of moss green and black. List price is $99.99.
Benchmade: 1100 Damasteel Series Pen
Let's get this out of the way first: The Benchmade Damasteel Pen is not cheap. This baby will run you at least $200 and it lists for $250. But this isn't a Bic disposable pen either. Knife maker Benchmade's tactical pen is made of blue Damasteel so it rivals the company's knife blades for toughness. As a writing instrument, the Benchmade tactical pen excels. Available with blue or black ink, the Benchmade tactical pen uses a Fisher Space Pen cartridge for smooth, clean writing at any angle.
BlackHawk: Operations Jacket
The BlackHawk Operations Jacket is one of the most versatile pieces of outerwear that a cop can own. Part of BlackHawk's Warrior Wear line, the jacket is comfortable from about 50 degrees down to just below freezing. It can be worn during plainclothes operations or off duty, and it has plenty of pockets for magazines and other necessary items. One really cool feature on this jacket is a zippered vertical chest pocket that's perfect for smartphones. Large rear pockets on the Operations Jacket are excellent for handgun concealment. List price is $224.99, but it's available for much less through a variety of outlets.
Brite-Strike: Basic Tactical Light
Just about every cop already has a flashlight. But a warrior can never have too many. So flashlights make a great gift for LEOs. And the Brite-Strike Basic Tactical Light is an excellent small flashlight. Available in two models, one with strobe and one without, the Basic Tactical Light was designed by cops for cops. It produces a blinding 150 lumens at max power and a very strong 80 lumens at low power. Battery life is outstanding, eight hours on the 80-lumen setting. Pricing is also excellent. Brite-Strike is offering a holiday special that lets you buy two get one free for a total of $119.98 for three strobing BTL-150-HLS lights. List price is normally $90 per light.
Elbeco: Ufx Base Layer
It's getting cold in much of the country and a lot of cops have to work out in the weather. If someone on your list has that duty then Elbeco's Ufx base layer turtlenecks and mock turtlenecks would be a great gift. Ufx is breathable, comfortable, pill resistant, and even anti-microbial. These great base layer garments are made of non-shrink fabric that dries very fast. Prices vary depending on distributor but expect to pay around $40.
ESS Eyepro: Crossbow Glasses
The Crossbow comes as a two-frame, two-lens (day and night) kit in a zippered hard case, with a head strap and microfiber lens cloth. If you require additional lenses for varying light conditions, you can choose from ESS Eyepro's high-definition yellow and rose copper. Lenses are secured to the frame by the Ded Bolt locking system, which makes them secure once in place but still easy to remove. ESS Eyepro's Tri-Tech Fit helps the Crossbow protect the operator's eyes while staying comfortable for a 12-hour day or longer. List price is $105.