FEATURED IN TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
‘Tis the season and we’re inspired to share. This month we’re going to depart a little from our usual tech slant and share some of our personal gear favorites—just in time for the holiday. We’ll start with a stocking stuffer any cop would love: The Zak ZT9P flat knurl handcuff key
($6 at LA Police Gear). The flat knurl design is lower-profile and easier to hold than most keys we’ve used. The textured polymer body makes it easy to grab through gloves, while keeping it lightweight so that it doesn’t slap against your leg. What a deal! Zak has a whole line of similar keys (www.zaktool.com
), but this model’s our favorite.
When Nick celebrated his first year with a badge, he was constantly asked: “Did you double-lock those cuffs?” The answer was always, “Yes.” The Smith & Wesson M&P lever-lock cuffs make double-locking so simple it goes unnoticed. These aren’t new, but they aren’t widely used either, at least not at our agency. The double-lock mechanism is a little flip-switch at the bottom of each cuff, which you trip with your finger. There’s a gizmo to prevent inadvertent locking. The speed of the cuff and double-lock procedure is wicked fast, and no tool required.
Maybe part of the reason those M&P lever-lock cuffs are so rare is the perception that they’re expensive. Suggestion
. In addition to competitive pricing (the M&Ps are $29), Cuffs4Cops.com offers free engraving. Nick gets his badge number and agency engraved on his cuffs, which makes for fewer missing pairs when you end up hauling in a busload and everyone’s grabbing to get their cuffs back: “Yeah, brother, as a matter of fact they do have my name on them.”
We’ve been through several good lights this year, including the SureFire E1B Backup, the SureFire E2D LED Defender and the Fenix TK15 R5. Consider any of these for anyone who needs bright, reliable light on the go. The SureFire E1B Backup is an expensive little sucker at $160, but it’s powerful and tough as a bar of iron. It’s reliable, dazzlingly bright and very compact. The crenellated strike bezel and tailcap, as well as the blinding, focused light, make the SureFire E2D LED ($189) a winner. Throw it, swing it—it won’t break. The Fenix TK15 R5 is a well-made Chinese product. At just $79, it’s a tactical flashlight that claims more than 300 lumens.
After tearing through our fair share of patrol bags and luggage in general, this year we invested in a bomb-proof set of gear brought to us by Oakley. The SI Computer Bag and the Kitchen Sink backpack can take on- and off-duty stresses in stride. Both are made of high-quality, over-engineered materials and offer plenty of storage and protection for all of the junk you might need in a shift.
The Kitchen Sink lives up to its name, providing enough space to pack away a 17-inch laptop, binoculars, several magazines full of ammo, paperwork, pens, ticket books, gloves and your lunch. There’s even a waterproof compartment on the bottom that features a drain hole and an easily accessible top compartment for glasses and MP3 player with an access port for earbuds. The SI Computer Bag also boasts enough cargo room to house a 17-inch laptop and all of your mobile office supplies. The layout and design of these bags is efficient and stylish in a utilitarian kinda way. Note:
The bags are deeply (read: deeply
) discounted through Oakley’s law enforcement and military website, www.usstandardissue.com
. Show proof of law enforcement affiliation, and save a bundle.
If you’ve been good enough to qualify for an Officer of the Year award, you might ask Santa for a new pistol. This year, we had the opportunity to play with Sig Sauer’s 1911
. The design is tried and true (see Chris Boyd and Dave Spaulding’s takes, July issue). Simply put
: This is one of the nicest handguns you’ll ever wrap your hands around. The trigger is smooth and crisp in all the right places. The grip width is comfortable and provides for a quick and proper hold. The sights are easier to read than a comic book and almost force rapid target acquisition. Sig makes it obvious that this is built with quality parts and has made it easy to order a custom-built ride right off of their website, which provides special pricing to law enforcement (www.sigsauer.com/lawenforcement
). We’ve had the fortune—yes, fortune
—to deal with their customer service, which was nothing short of fantastic. Pricing varies dramatically, depending on options and finish. But it’s fair to say that with law enforcement pricing, a middle of the road .45 should run about $800.
Now, just hope you haven’t put the screws to any obese and bearded elderly men this year.