Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Gift Guide for New Law Enforcement Officers: Part One

One thing that I mention a lot here on the blog but I don't actually talk a lot about is that I am married to a law enforcement officer.  Deputy Dad has been a peace officer for many years now. He started out as a correctional officer, then moved out to the road. He's been on the road for over 5 years now. This past December, he was actually promoted to Sergeant. Perhaps I need something new to call him. But I like Deputy Dad. It's fun to say.

Anyway, I'm a member of a few "support groups" on Facebook that are geared towards wives of law enforcement officers. One of the questions that was recently posted to the group as a whole was "what can I get my new officer husband as a gift?" I actually thought this was a really good question, and thought I'd collaborate with Deputy Dad and come up with a gift guide for anyone else that may be wondering what they can gift to any new officers they know.

Also, for a lot of this stuff, I would wait a few weeks before gifting.  Each department is going to be different with what they provide as far as duty gear and accessories.  For example, in the thread I was reading, many people were suggesting badge wallets, the super bright flashlights that can charge in-car, and leather ticket books.  In my husband's department, these things have all been provided to him as part of his county-issued gear.

Once we sat down and started thinking things through and typing this up, it came out even *longer* than my normal blog posts. Can you imagine?? As a result, this is going to be part one of this guide : equipment suggestions to keep in the car. Part two will be dedicated to personal equipment.

1. Some Clorox Wipes for dash board, rear seat wipe downs, pen wipe downs, cuff wipe downs...just trust me.

2. A Seatbelt Cutter and Window Breaker for your officer, or for any wrecks he may happen upon. This may be one of those things that is dependent upon department. Deputy Dad works for a Sheriff's Department that actually does not work wrecks, so his car is not equipped with supplies to assist in car accidents.

3. Dry Erase Markers are great for writing down the numerics for a call your officer is being dispatched to, or writing down information off of a BOLO on the rearview mirror. Then your LEO will become a dispatcher favorite, because he won't have to ask them to repeat all of the time. :)

4 & 5. A Portable File Box and Hanging File Folders will be helpful to stash in the trunk to keep all of the forms that your LEO has to haul around organized. Victims forms, NCIC entry forms, wreck reports, etc., etc. Even departments that have MDTs (mobile data terminals, which our county doesn't have) will still have a ton of paper they need to carry. Keeping it all organized will make life easier. I wish my husband could keep himself this organized!

6. A Seat Organizer is also great for keeping all of that paperwork corralled. They make soft-sided and hard-sided versions, but Deputy Dad prefers the soft sided version so that's what I included. It can hold their clipboard, ticket book, extra pens, sunglasses, charger, snacks, and more. These are especially helpful for those officers who are going to be working at smaller departments that do not have take home cars and have to share cars. That way all of the stuff you want to have on patrol with you is in one convenient place and you can just grab it and go!

7. The Cool Cop is a lifesaver in any climate. One end clips on to the car vent, the other hooks on to your officer's vest (S/He is wearing his/her vest, right?!) Those things are so hot and bulky, but since they're also lifesavers, I like to tell Deputy Dad he can suck it up and deal with it. The Cool Cop helps ventilate under the hot vest, especially in the hot 80+ degree weather!

Anyone else out there a police wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend/etc? Anything else you could think to recommend for a new officer care kit? I didn't recommend things like snacks and gum because those are always personal preference, too, but, what else would you add?

** I understand that everyone has their opinion on the blue line, and I respect everyone's opinion. However, I am clearly a part of the blue line family and I am clearly pro-law enforcement while being against officers that bring a bad name to the profession. That being said, any outright hateful or negative commentary about police officers will be removed without question. **

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