What's a "Cop Card," you ask? I wasn't sure either, but thankfully the page provides a handy explanation:
"For years, baseball players have had their photos on trading cards.....now it's our turn!!!!!!"
Apparently, since 1998, the Fair Lawn Police Department has been having cop cards made for a select number of officers and dispatchers who would like to have their likenesses (and 90s mustaches) preserved for eternity.
In all seriousness, the cards were actually intended to make the officers more approachable and to help open up the lines of communication between the police department and the community, especially its children.
Since the "Premiere" edition was released in 1998, there have been two subsequent sets released --the aptly named "Millenium" edition in 2000 and the 75th "Anniversary" edition in 2006. I've never seen one of these cards in person, but apparently they don't just exist on the internet.
According to the web page:
“The patch cards have a check-off list on the back so you can keep track of which cards you have and which cards you still need. On the back of each officer’s card there is information about the featured officer and a personal message.”
Now you might be wondering, “What if I’m in the card trading business and need that elusive Millenium Edition Lt. Derek Bastinck card to complete my set?”
Fear not collector, all you have to do is walk up to Lt. Bastinck, introduce yourself and ask him for his cop card—or so the website says (I’ve never tried it). If you’re lucky, he might even sign it for you. He used to play professional baseball after all, so he should be used to the drill.
While most of the cop cards have pretty standard photos of the uniformed officers, some include props (usually weapons) and are intentionally and, at times, unintentionally humorous.
I’ve selected my 10 favorites with appropriate nicknames for each officer. Now it’s your turn to vote on who you think rocks their cop card the hardest. Feel free to add your own nickname suggestions, but please be respectful!