Update: Be sure to check out our 2012 Gift Idea List too!
Every year, there are certain people in your family or extended family that are just extremely hard to buy for. This gets even more difficult if one of those people happen to be a police officer. I mean, who would know what a police officer would want, right? We have the answer! As a retired police officer now supplying the industry with their goods of choice, I know exactly what they are looking for. I’ve compiled a “Top Ten” list below of the items that they are talking about most and have proven themselves in the industry. By Paul S. Riddell-Police Officer (Retired), and President of On Duty Gear.
And now for the list:
1. Under Armour Speedfreek Boots – $169.99
Also known as the Speed Freak or Speedfreak, these lightweight boots by Under Armour feature a waterproof Gore-Tex lining and a HeatGear OrthoLite sock liner, while maintaining enough breathability to keep your feet from overheating. Even more importantly, they feel like you’re wearing a tennis shoe! And for protection they carry added ankle support, toe cap and enough traction to handle pavement or dirt with ease. All this combined with the fact that they are made by Under Armour sealed the deal, making this our top rated Christmas gift for 2011!
2. Blackhawk SERPA Taser Holster – $43.49
Coming in a close second is one of our best selling items. The Blackhawk SERPA holster for is a great gift for any officer who carries a Taser. With safety in mind, this Taser holster features an Active Retention System that helps prevent the Taser from being drawn accidentally or in a struggle, and automatically engages the Taser’s safety upon re-holstering. It comes in three finishes: Plain Black, Basketweave Black and Matte Black, and in both Right and Left handed draws. One of the most important features to note is that it is made right here in the USA!
3. Under Armour Blackout Gloves – $34.99
When selecting a glove for duty, an officer is typically looking for both good quality and thinness. When patting a subject down for weapons, it is important to be wearing a glove that allows you to identify potential weapons; equally important is the ability to still grip your weapon and get your finger in the trigger guard without obstruction should you need to. Good quality and thin duty gloves didn’t quite go together until now. Brand new by Under Armour, the Blackout glove is number three on our list of great Christmas gifts. The Blackout features HeatGear flex zones, moisture management, a two piece Cabretta leather palm, and foam injected cushion to decrease shock and vibration… all built into a thin, durable and lightweight design. It is available in SM through XL for optimal sizing and has an elastic and Velcro wrist closure for a great fit. And like the Speedfreek boot, being made by Under Armour only increases the amount of excitement when opening this gift on Christmas Day!
4. Shirt Lock Undergarment Belt – $14.99
As a Police Officer, maintaining a professional appearance is always a requirement. Getting in and out of a police car several times during the shift leaves you feeling sloppy about your appearance because your uniform shirt always comes untucked and loose. Until now, the only choices were shirt stays and garters, which not only got you laughed at in the locker room, but never really worked quite right anyway. Made of nylon, the Shirt Lock is a belt that has hook or “sticky” velcro on both the inside and the outside, keeping shirt tails where they belong. The ShirtLock material has 10x the tensile strength of velcro and goes over your uniform shirt before putting on your pants. The hook material on the inside grabs onto the shirt; the hook material on the outside grabs onto the pants, locking your shirt into position for the shift. At only $14.99, the Shirt Lock is a great value for any officer.
5. Streamlight Stinger LED DS – $115.49
Number 5 on the list brings us the top selling duty flashlight for 2011-the Streamlight Stinger LED DS. This is the top rated rechargeable flashlight we sell. The LED DS features a dual switch technology, 180 lumen output and 3 different light modes… with a battery life that can reach over 7 hours of continuous use per charge. The flashlight body is built from an unbreakable polycarbonate with scratch resistant coating and o-ring sealed construction. As a bonus, an anti-roll ring allows you to put the light on the hood of a car without it rolling off. And since it is built on the popular Stinger platform it will work with all existing Stinger chargers. A great Christmas gift for any officer still using an old flashlight that is probably on it’s last leg.
6. 5.11 Tactical Bailout Bag – $64.99
Unfortunately, active shooter scenarios have become an ever present danger today. Thus, there is a need for law enforcement officers to be able to respond quickly and effectively to those threats. Preparation is key to that quick and effective response, and the Bailout Bag by 5.11 Tactical is the ultimate quick response bag. Perfect for Active Shooter Response or as a “Go-Bag” for duty, the outside features front mag pockets that can hold up to 6 AR mags and there are side utility pockets with MOLLE web platforms for add-ons. The spacious interior is ideal for first aid items or additional response gear and is lined with loop sided Velcro so you can attach pouches for easy access inside. Officers can keep this bag readily available in their squad, then it’s just a matter of grab and go when the time comes. The shoulder strap, which is padded, allows for secure carry with the bag itself tucking under the weak-side arm.
7. Leatherman Kick Multi-Tool – $32.65
A multi-tool is a must for every officer on the road. Removing license plates, prying open compartments and probing for evidence are just a few uses. Leatherman must know they are competing for duty belt space because the Kick features a narrow design and lighter weight than the standard Leatherman tools. The design offers longer and stronger blades and super-strong pliers among others…a total of 12 tools overall. The Leatherman name and its 25 year warranty make this a great Christmas gift for an Officer to use on the road or at home.
8. Streamlight Stylus UV LED Flashlight – $19.58
Fake ID and currency are becoming more and more common, and it’s important for an officer to be able to tell the difference. Fake ID can mean the difference between handcuffs and freedom for the bad guy, while a good arrest can make your day. The Stylus UV LED is a ‘AAAA’ penlight, but built with a 365nm ultraviolet LED for fluorescent detection of fraudulent documents and IDs. It can run in momentary blink mode or a consistent ‘on’ state with up to 60 hours of continuous use on one set of batteries. At under $20 and with it’s small size (fits right in the pen pocket of the uniform shirt), the Streamlight Stylus UV LED makes a great stocking stuffer.
9. Blackhawk CQD Mark I Type E Knife – $86.99
BlackHawk has done a lot of things right, and one of them is their knife collection. This is the perfect tactical and/or duty knife. The CQD Mark 1 E by Blackhawk Tactical features a high strength button-lock mechanism, recessed seatbelt/cord cutter and a carbide glass breaker. Then you get to the blade, which is made out of AUS 8A Steel, enabling it to get and keep a great edge… all built into a precision reinforced nylon handle mounted to a 420J stainless steel frame. It’s a little bigger than most duty knives, but you can feel the quality in your hand. There’s no way this one is going to wear out any time soon. If the police officer you know carries a knife, this should be it!
10. 5.11 Tactical Praetorian II Glove – $49.99
Rounding out our Top Ten is the 5.11 Praetorian 2 everyday cold weather glove, which is great for patrol use. It features C100 Thinsulate, ‘Tactical Touch’ precision fit-fingertips, elastic wrist closure and a seamless palm and back all packed into a glove without adding too much bulk. It comes in sizes SM through XXL, allowing for the perfect fit. With winter time upon us, this is the gift that is sure to get immediate use!
Blackhawk CQB Rigger’s Belt – $30.44
Made of parachute grade buckles with 7000 lb tensile strength webbing, this is a beast of a belt. Comes in Black, Desert Sand, Desert Tan and Olive Drab.
Streamlight Keymate Flashlight – $9.79
Great for a stocking stuffer, they Keymate by Streamlight is heavy duty, water-resistant and has a runtime of up to 96 hours.
Taclip Microphone Clip – $12.99
Taclip fits all ballistic vests and keeps the radio mic in a chest-mounted position. At only $12.99, another great stocking stuffer.
5.11 Tactical Socks – $19.99 for 3
Some of the most comfortable socks we sell, the Level 1 socks feature moisture wicking Coolmax fibers, multiple compression zones and extra padding.
Paul Riddell retired from Port Huron Police Dept. in 2006 and is now President and co-founder of On Duty Gear, one of the nation’s leading equipment supply companies catering to the Public Safety market. Paul’s duties include product testing and review as well as new product development.