The Best Gifts for Cops
Finding the perfect gift for the cop in your life can feel like an impossible chore. Law enforcement is an insular profession, and law enforcement officers have some very specialized needs. These needs can change based on duty assignment, and cops can have some strong preferences. Finding something that they will truly love can really be difficult.
I’m here to offer you some help with this gift guide. If you notice the him/her verbiage in this article, it isn’t political correctness; my girlfriend is a cop, and I’m not. And she’s quite a cop at that, with over 17 years on the job. Besides the road, she’s worked SWAT, a tactical anti-crime unit, has been a detective for just shy of a decade, and recently made Sergeant. She’s worn a lot of different hats and had a lot of achievements at her police department. After a few years of trying to purchase the perfect gift for her, I feel qualified to offer some gift ideas for the cop in your life.
Of course, the best police gift is a loving, supportive family, but we also know you want to leave a unique gift under the tree for our special someone. In this gift guide, we’ll step outside the obvious stuff. No thin blue line coffee mugs here; the gifts here will please the most serious of professionals and are totally functional. From the greenest rookie to the most hard-boiled veteran, they will be thrilled to find these practical gifts under the tree.
Understanding the Needs of Police Officers
Police officers in the United States have some very specific needs and face some special challenges. Cops work in an adversarial environment of the modern “Defund the Police”-era and are under more stress today than ever before. They also have to be on their A-game on every single call for service and indeed, every simple interaction with a member of the public. Everything is on film these days, and a cop might be held accountable for his or her actions even years later. All of this is in the back of an LEO’s mind, on every call, on every shift.
Understanding & Thoughtful Gifts
Gifts that can help relieve some cognitive load, reduce the physical toll a bit, and help keep the officer sharp are always welcome. These meaningful gifts show that special kind of understanding and concern – whether you are the husband, wife, parent, or child of a police officer, or you are just a Citizen wanting to say “thank you” to a cop you know. Intelligent, thoughtful gifts let the LEO in your life know that you really care and are attentive to their needs.
One of the most interesting and novel gift ideas for law enforcement officers we’ve seen in a while is Qore Performance’s ICEVENTS® product line.
The Best Gifts for Cops from Qore Performance
The ICEVENTS® product line consists of ultralight, highly-ventilated padding. This padding can go under holsters, plate carriers, duty belts, shoulder straps, and more. ICEVENTS® permit airflow through the pads, keeping the wearer cooler and more comfortable. It doesn’t matter where you are in the U.S., from Anchorage to Arizona to Boston to Austin, in the summertime you get hot and you sweat. This is especially true with the classic gunbelt; a wet waistline leads to chafing which can get really uncomfortable. Our ICEVENTS® products don’t only help in hot weather, though. They also prevent sweating under duty gear in cold weather. After sweating, a wet shirt can chill you to the bone, again making you uncomfortable and ultimately, unfocused.
Keeping Them Safe
Keeping cool and comfortable isn’t just about comfort. It’s also an officer safety issue. If you’re hot, sweaty, uncomfortable, and constantly adjusting your kit, you’re not 100% focused on doing a dangerous job. Reducing the discomfort increases your cognitive abilities and allows you more mental bandwidth. This lets you focus outward where potential threats are and make better split-second decisions. You also have more patience for those “demanding customers,” and more physical ability left in the tank should things take a turn while on a call.
Versatility of Application
ICEVENTS® aren’t a single product. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes for a variety of purposes. One of the most popular products for law enforcement officers is the Aero High Mobility Gun Belt Pads. These distribute weight even across the belt, allow for omnidirectional airflow, and reduce hotspots. You can also purchase an entire ICEVENTS® Inner Belt. Many departments across the country are still using the classic Sam Browne Belt, but there is definitely a shift toward vests… and Qore Performance has got you covered.
ICEVENTS® Can Fit Right Into Their Existing Setup
The ICEVENTS® Catamaran is a harness that allows the use of ICEVENTS® on any plate carrier/body armor. This keeps the armor off the body, allowing effective airflow and keeping the wearer cool. Combined with ICEVENTS® Shoulder Pads you can create some of the coolest, most comfortable body armor on the market anywhere. And of course, our ICEVENTS® products work with any ICEPLATE EXO® plate carrier, so you can skip the Catamaran if they already own one.
Other ICEVENTS® Products
There are also ICEVENTS® for a variety of other purposes including holsters and hearing protection. If you are overwhelmed by the array of ICEVENTS® products, you can also consider giving a Qore Performance gift card. This can let the officer in your life choose the best combination of products for him- or herself. Gift cards are available in $10, $25, $50, and $100 increments.
How to Choose the Perfect Gift for the Police Officer in Your Life
Choosing the right gift can largely depend on the officer’s rank and role; the ideal gift for a young patrolman might not be the right gift for a lieutenant or captain. And we don’t mean to imply that you can only get a good gift for a cop from Qore Performance (though you certainly can!), so we’ll offer a few other gift ideas here. Again, we’re going to shy away from the thin blue line flag and the coffee cup with a police badge on it, in favor of more functional gifts.
Some Gift Ideas for Cops Outside of the ICEVENTS® Product Line
While the badge and the gun are the most visible and symbolic symbols of law enforcement, the pen is perhaps the cop’s most frequently used tool. A good pen is needed across all levels, from Patrolman to Chief, from Deputy to Sheriff, Detective to Dog Handler. Being without a pen in law enforcement is kind of like being without a watch in the military: wrong! A high-quality pen can be an outstanding gift, but again, consider the officer’s role. A ruggedized, tactical pen may be more appropriate for a road cop, while a more refined pen, perhaps engraved with his or her name or badge number, would be more appropriate for those in supervisory positions.
The Gift of Good Sleep
Most cops don’t get nearly enough sleep. The police schedule of shift work, overtime, and late-night call-outs seems designed to interfere with your sleep. A thoughtful gift is anything that can help your favorite police officer get more, better sleep. Sleep helps you perform at a higher level mentally and physically. Plenty of good sleep improves your health across multiple domains, making you smarter, stronger, faster, and happier. We think a meaningful gift would be anything that helps your cop get good sleep. Anything from sleep masks to blackout curtains (which we recently installed – what a difference for both of us!) to white-noise machines, the gift of good sleep is a special gift, especially for cops working shift work.
Gifts for Keeping Them on Their Feet
Cops – from Patrolmen to Detectives – make their living on their feet. Taking care of the feet is equivalent to taking care of the officer; it’s hard to focus when your feet are hot, cold, or hurting. An outstanding pair of boots can go a long way to making a hard job easier. It’s hard to put a price on a good pair of boots, especially when they are worn with a good pair of socks. I like Merino wool socks because they don’t stink and they provide insulation, even when wet. And for what it’s worth, Qore Performance offers ICEVENTS® Insoles which make any pair of boots far more comfortable!
Gauge Their Needs
Finally, you can always just ask that special person what he or she needs to make life on the job a little easier. This is especially true for those just out of the academy. There is a large “startup cost” for new officers to supply the gear (and sometimes even sidearms and uniforms) needed to step out on patrol every day. It may be a huge help to a new officer to purchase a duty belt, holster, or other necessary equipment. Or your special officer’s life may be improved by something as simple as a great pair of gloves, or a better watch. Everyone likes a surprise but one way to be sure you’re getting the best gift is to simply ask!