Holiday Gift Guide for Officers

Here are some gift ideas ranging in price from the thrifty to the spendy for your fellow officers, the officers in your family and your hearts, and maybe for yourself.

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The holidays—specifically Christmas and Hanukkah—are here. The season is typically celebrated in so many wonderful ways, but in the age of COVID-19 things might look a little different. Yes, Christmas trees are draped with lights and Menorah candles are being lit in living rooms across America.

But as was reported in this space just a couple of weeks ago, the annual tradition of "Shop with a Cop" events have been substantially altered substantially.

Holiday parties have been scuttled altogether.

It's tough sledding for everyone across America for certain, but for first responders—police officers, firefighters, EMTs, hospital workers, and anyone else out there protecting our citizens—t's a little bit tougher. The challenges and the stresses are real.

This is why it's important for all essential workers to band together a little bit more tightly, even with just the simple gesture of an unexpected holiday gift.

Here are just a few ideas that might brighten a colleague or a police loved one's holiday. I've tried to limit the list that follows to items ranging between $100-$200, but there are also some exotic and expensive products that will positively wow the recipient.

5.11 Rush 72 Tactical Backpack

What cop in America doesn't love gear from 5.11 Tactical? Other than my underwear and socks, pretty much every piece of clothing I wear on a daily basis is from 5.11 Tactical, and I'm not a cop, just a sheep-dipped scribe who loves the company's gear and apparel.  

Every piece of luggage I use when I travel is made by 5.11 Tactical.

If you want to load up about three days of gear in a small package the 5.11 RUSH-72 backpack is a great choice. Now on sale for $99.49 this pack offers an immense about of space.

I have two of them—one for me and one for my son—all loaded up with clothes, water bottles, energy bars, and a few other items that might prove useful. MOLLE all around the backpack allows virtually unlimited variations of your setup.

The Battle Mug

The Battle Mug starts off as a 13.5 pound solid block of 6061 T6 billet aluminum and transforms into the coolest beer stein I've ever seen. Every mug is manufactured in the USA by a Veteran-owned company. Priced just under $200. FYI that the M4 carrying handle—the Battle Handle—must be purchased separately. But both are totally worth it if you want to give your patrol partner something they will always remember—and possibly use on a daily basis.

Casio G-Shock Watches

It is unquestionable that Casio G-Shock watches are excellent for patrol. Available in a number of versions, all are tough as the wrists they are worn upon. They're functional and tough as all get-out.

The GRB200RAF-8A retails for $370. The GRB200-1A goes for about $350. Both are great watches for law enforcement offices and they will last for decades.

Worth every penny.

Hogue Knives

Hogue has assembled a staggering array of patrol knives, all of which are suitable for duty carry. With each knife manufactured in the United States, it's an honor to carry one of these blades.

It's also reassuring to know that the quality of the construction will not fail in the event that the tool is needed for self-defense or the defense of another.

The craftsmanship is top-notch, and some of the finishes of the grips are both tactically sound and beautiful. Personally, I like to carry the EX-04 Manual Folder G10, but there are many others from which to choose. These knives vary in price between $200-$400, depending on what you're looking for.

HaltzGloves Gloves

These gloves are amazing. You can see them from about 1,000 meters away. Not something you want to wear in a gunfight but at the scene of a traffic collision on the freeway at 3 a.m., they can literally be a life-saver. They fit nice and snuggly (use the sizing chart on their website. These gloves absolutely rock. The fingertips are cut so in the event an officer needs to deploy a TASER or sidearm, there's no issue with trigger control. Priced around $32 they're a bargain.

Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic

Okay, now we're getting a little bit "spendie"—pricing at around $450—but this optic is outstanding. I have it on the top of my AR and once you zero it in it is pretty-much cemented into place on your picatinny rail and will not budge from its position on your patrol rifle. It's literally a game-changer for anyone who carries a rifle—for a profession or for sport.

Again, worth every penny—and then some.

Law Enforcement Books

Finally, let's look at reading (which is what you're doing at present).

I'm not talking here about fiction—although there is a treasure-trove to explore there, including anything written by Nelson DeMille, such as Plum Island or Night Fall—but other texts that can be useful in your job.

Three months before I took my first job in law enforcement writing, I was given sage advice by a very dear friend and mentor. He said, "Read anything and everything that Chuck Remsberg has ever written."

And I did.

The texts Tactics for Criminal Patrol and The Tactical Edge were my favorites until Blood Lessons came out (I was already long into this police writing thing at that point). Anything written by Remsberg is gold.

Then there's Dan Marcou, who has written three semi-autobiographical novels which are wildly entertaining.

But the thing I most treasure on my bookcase among Marcou's works is an anthology of law enforcement officers—real, actual coppers—throughout history. The book is called Law Dogs, and it's one of those kind of texts that you can just keep on the nightstand beside the bed and when you can't sleep, just click on the little lamp and read a great tale of someone who came before you.

Then there's Dick Fairburn's Building a Better Gunfighter, and The War on Cops by Heather Mac Donald.

Possibly the best among all my favorite law enforcement books isn't really about law enforcement. It's called Left of Bang and was authored Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley. In my humble opinion it is a MUST read—and a really great gift idea if you want to spend just under twenty bucks on Amazon or other book-sellers.

Final Words

No matter what you decide to do about gift-giving this year, know that even the smallest gesture during these trying times will most certainly be appreciated by your partner or the officers in your life.

To all of you and yours, I sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

Much love.

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