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Son #1 is graduating college with a dual degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology. He's interviewing with the local police between here and the college town, plus the state police.

Everyone's going to be asking for ideas for graduation gifts. I don't think any new firearms would be a good idea, because whatever force he ends up on will have their own preference/mandate as to what the officers carry, right?

So, what kinds of stuff can I suggest to people who want to know what to get their nephew/grandson/whatever? I think some of them would have almost a money-is-no-object mentality (not that they want to waste money on a gold-plated doughnut holder, but if the "right" bullet-proof vest is more expensive than an entry-level model, they'd want him to have the best one).

I'd almost say he could get an untraceable "drop piece," but that just shows you how all I know about police comes from TV and movies.

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Sap gloves would be good. Not that I ever used them! ;>

Some police gifts actually might be difficult for the public to come buy, since they might be limited to law enforcement personnel.

A practical gift might be a briefcase. His patrol car will be his mobile office and you end up carrying all kinds of forms and papers in there. But they do get bounced around a lot, even when they're belted in. Some cops choose more of a bookbag style, though my own preference was for the hard-bodied ones.

An extra pair of handcuffs (if you can get 'em); sweat-wicking undershirts, such as those made by Under Armour, are great in the summer time to keep you cooler; and I also preferred the dual athletic sock/knee sock combo. The white athletic sock lower portion that went over your foot was more comfortable and supposedly more hygenic while the upper portion was a black knee sock to meet with typical department dress codes to have black socks exposed.

Not exactly exciting things, but pretty darn practical. However, a bullet resistant (nothing's bullet proof) vest might be a good option, depending on whether his department ultimately provides one or not. but again, they might not be available to the regular public. Moreover, they have to be (or should be) fitted to each individual, so you wouldn't want to go out and buy one off the shelf. The side panels, for example, should fit just so for both comfort and maximum safety. Then there are additional inserts like trauma plates you can buy for added protection. Maybe a gift card for the purchase would be better.

Some cops enjoy personal scanners to listen in when off duty (I tended to be the sort that when I was off duty, I was off duty).

We used to carry a baton called a PR-24, also known as a side-handle baton. A lot of officers also carried an ASP, which is an expandable baton. Mini Mag Lites were also good.

In reality, there's a ton of crap you can end up carrying on your duty rig, some more useful than others. You definitely don't want to come off as Tackleberry from Police Academy, and you don't want to be jingling and tinkling as you're moving around.

One of the popular police supply companies I recall was Galls. But there are a lot of similar supply companies around. Going through their site might suggest some other items.

Good luck. He's going to need it!

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Depending on the department the officer could have a hefty uniform bill when he hires on. Generally departments that require you to buy uniforms provide a uniform allowance, but in the department I work for they pay it twice a year (January and July) so if you hire on between those dates you're on your own until you get that bonus, and you can easily spend several hundred to over a thousand on your uniform and accessories (over and above what the department provides.)

Galls is a good choice for the accessories, even boots (which they run through surprisingly quickly.)
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