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November 30, 2010
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John Rivera Technology Helpdesk
with John Rivera

P1 Tech Help: Geek gifts for LEOs

Some items on a cop's wish list may only be purchased by LEOs but there are great gadgets anyone can buy for the officer in their life

The holidays are the time for giving and hopefully for receiving as well. My family always asks me what I want for Christmas. I usually ask for the moon. I know the 2010 black Chevy Camaro SS is kind of out of the question. For now.

As police officers, we have a somewhat different taste in needs or wants than the typical person going to the mall. A LEO’s wish list may include a lighted pen to help with low lighting for tactical situations. We may ask for ‘Posse’ boxes to help keep documents ready or to fill out in the field. Some of you may even ask for a level-three TAC holster for your service pistol.

The typical person would have no idea what those items are or why we ask for them, but they asked us what we want, right? Some of the items we ask for can only be purchased by certified LEOs — that fully-decked-out AR-15 can be somewhat daunting for someone else to order for you — so I will mention some practical items a person may be able to purchase online (someplace like Amazon) or or at just about any retail store at the mall.

Getting (and Giving) Hot Flashes
Let me remind of you of my first topic, the flash drive. The flash drive is almost a required item in any officer’s equipment list. Their uses are numerous. For example, an officer can keep important documents electronically and at the ready. One of the many uses I found is to keep an electronic copy of the state DUI packet on the thumb drive. I open the document, fill the packet out and have it printed in less than an 15 minutes. Flash drives can start at one gigabyte and can be free or have a minimal cost, some have the ability to store up sixty four gigabytes but are still a little spendy.

Is that a Projector... Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
One particular item you trainers may need is a pocket projector. These devices are ideal for training a small number of officers or can be used in small rooms. As the name suggests, these projectors are so portable they fit in your pocket and can cost somewhere between $120.00 to several hundred dollars.


This device can connect your iPod to your squad's FM radio.(PoliceOne Image)

What's the Frequency Kenneth?
Another item I recently wrote about is an FM MP3 modulator to play MP3 music through your regular patrol car stereo. This item is inexpensive. I just purchased one for six dollars through Amazon. This item helps keep your peace of mind pass those long pauses during regular patrol and between calls.

There's a Digital Camera for Everyone
An essential piece of electronic equipment for officers today is a digital camera. They can cost somewhere between fifty dollars for a basic digital camera to several hundred dollars for a digital SLR camera. Many departments already issue cameras to officers but if you have your own camera you will always know if the batteries are properly charged and how many photos you can take before the memory chip is full.

As you can see an officer’s wish list can be practical and inexpensive if you ask for the right things. You could hopefully get everything you ask for or at least come close to it.

As I have previously mentioned, always ensure the use of any of these items is not against your agency policy.

Have a safe and happy Holiday Season.

About the author

John Rivera is a Patrol Officer with the Bremerton Police Department. John’s career BPD started as a Volunteer Reserve Officer and while he volunteered his time as a reserve officer he work as Police Officer at Naval Base Kitsap. He was hired full time in 2006 and attended the Washington State Police Academy. While at the academy, John was selected as the class “Techy” to help with the technologically deficient class instructors. Before John’s law enforcement career, he gained his computer experience through earning a degree in Computer Programming and then working in the computer industry as a Network Administrator and Systems Engineer for several companies.

Contact John Rivera

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