Cop_Gift Guide

It’s that time again – Christmas and Hanukkah are looming on the horizon. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and now, by the time this publishes, Cyber Monday is all done. And yet, somebody will ask you what you need (or want). Well, what about some suggestions to answer that?


Fortunately, over the last year, I have seen some things that are easy to suggest.



Nite Write’s illuminated low-light notebook cover!

One of the neatest and most useful things I have had in my hands is NiteWrite’s duty book cover. It is designed for those who work in reduced light and need to make notes. The interior will easily take 3”x5” cards or similar sized notebooks and it comes with a push button activated bank of red LEDs. They will illuminate the notebook or cards without blasting too much light into your eyes or the surrounding area. A very useful piece of gear when teaching low-light classes or, more importantly, on patrol.

Nite Write



Bags –

5.11’s LV18 backpack and it’s concealed compartment plus the water bottle holder.

There is always a need for a good bag to carry “stuff” to and from work, to school, or just around town. At SHOT this year, I was introduced to 5.11 Tactical’s newer, lower-profile backpack line. They sent me one of the LV18 backpacks, specifically the 2.0 model. It has just over eighteen hundred cubic inches of space. I started using the LV18 as a daily bag while I was still working court security for my old agency. Along with my laptop or iPad and empty coffee cup, the pack easily held my lunch and more.

5.11’s LV18 Backpack


All-Weather Targets

The IDPA target design after being hit with handgun, shotgun, and carbine loads.

Since Christmas falls in December, the weather outside is less than optimal. Winter weather can adversely impact your cardboard and paper targets when training. If that is the case, check out the recycled rubber, self-healing infinity targets from Infinite Defense. They have both IDPA and USPSA/IPSC designs and others. If you follow the company’s directions on the types of ammunition you can use, these should last you quite a while.

Infinity Targets


Handgun Lights

If you need a light on your concealed carry pistol, you can check out Streamlight’s TLR-7a.

Not every handgun needs a light on it; this applies to your concealed carry pistols. However, if you do, a full-size duty light may be too big. If you fall into that niche area, there is the TLR-7A from Streamlight. Running on a single CR-123 battery, it works within a room, down a hallway, or at shorter distances.

Streamlight TLR-7a


Handheld Lights

It’s no secret that I am interested in low-light environments and tools that help us there.

Duty Belt

Cloud Defensive’s 18650 powered Mission Configurable Duty handheld light.

This year, Cloud Defensive launched a user-programmable duty-sized handheld light for the uniformed law enforcement market. Their Mission Configurable Handheld-Duty light (MCH-Duty-HO-DF) is designed to run on rechargeable 18650 or CR-123 batteries. The light gives the user the option of programming in five different outputs. With a rechargeable battery, you can get 1,800 lumens and 50,000 candela on the high-power setting. The CR-123 option will give you up to 500 lumens and 20,000 candela.

Cloud Defensive


Reach out & Illuminate

Reach out & illuminate with Modlite’s HOG

Another trend I like is companies coming out with handheld lights that allow you to reach out and illuminate. Modlite’s option is the HOG. With their OKW head and a 21700 battery, the HOG puts out 720 lumens and 170,000 candela for about three hours. You could easily carry it on an external patrol vest, which fits in a car door tray for access when needed. I appreciate the HOG’s ability to let me illuminate and identify at a more significant distance than other options.

Modlite HOG


ASP’s Sentry model handcuffs, a solid choice for duty.

Hopefully, your agency supplies you with minimal safety equipment like handcuffs when you start. However, if they have not or you regularly need more than the single pair you were issued, look at ASP. This past year, they released two newer designs, the Ultra Plus and the Sentry. While the Ultra Plus is their top-of-the-line model, they were concerned about cost. As a result, they developed the Sentry. Made from a stamped I-beam construction, the design minimizes the likelihood of them being pried apart. It also accommodates a wider range of wrist sizes. To mitigate liability concerns, ASP developed a training program for agencies specific to their handcuffs line.

ASP Sentry cuffs


Protective Equipment


A way to mitigate TBI – the Q-Collar

Traumatic Brain Injuries are getting more attention in a variety of communities. And that can only be a good thing in the future. One company trying to mitigate the effects of these injuries is Q30 Innovations with their Q-Collar. Their open collar is worn around your neck, providing slight inward pressure on the arteries. That inward pressure provides positive effects on the brain to mitigate traumatic impacts. They market to both the sports and practical application (ok, tactical) worlds.




Body Armor Vent’s way to increase your comfort

To misquote Clint Smith, body armor should be comforting, not comfortable. Fortunately, there are companies trying to make armor more comfortable. One of these options is Body Armor Vent. They have developed a venting and evaporative cooling system into pads mounted between your torso and the armor carrier. With these pads in place, you will get the venting needed to increase your comfort.

Body Armor Vent

Closing Thoughts

Most all these items have been worked with and written about on AmericanCop over the last year. If you are interested in greater detail on them, check the original articles via the Search feature in the upper right-hand corner of the page. I’m comfortable recommending these products, within their roles, as solid Christmas and Hanukkah gifts.