Ken Brown with his iPhone 6S grabbing a quick shot of a job and a bonus selfie!
When we moved to McKinney, Texas, in 1992, the police force was about 30 young men. The town’s population was about 20,000; now it’s 160,000+. The police department has over 200 men on motorcycles, in cars, and riding beautiful horses. A few are on bicycles. The force is growing and some are retiring in small numbers.
Not far from my Studio is the shooting range where an old dude (45!) from the force trains the rookies in rifle and pistol work…and most every other phase. The shooting range is in earshot of my front door and, often, when I’m coming and going I wonder if there’s a gun battle in the neighborhood or the guys are going through their paces at the range.
The ‘0ld dude’ heard about my work some time ago and asked me to engrave a shadow box for a retiring member of the force. He provided the box and the words. I engraved the glass and filled with Antique Gold Rub ‘N Buff. Since that first one a few months ago, I’ve done 6. They give the retiring officer a pistol that’s placed in the box to be presented at a gathering to recognize the long service to the community. I used a #2 and #3 round carbide for the engraving. Just to be sure they know who did it, I signed it, vertically, in the lower left corner of the box.
Guess how I was tapped for the work. Gail…..my biggest fan and shameless promoter….carries a stack of our little fold-out business cards (brochures!) and every time she sees a cop on the street, in a restaurant, or wherever, she walks up, thanks him/her for their service, and gives them a card with the offer, “Ken will gladly personalize your baton, handcuffs, clip, flashlight, or gun…FREE.” A few have made their way to my Studio for the offer. And that has resulted in frequent jobs for these boxes and other misc items they bring. An adjoining city often has me engrave the slides on their pistols, or they’ll bring the whole gun for ROOKIE OF THE YEAR and other ways to recognize outstanding work on their force.
BOTTOM LINE: Make friends with a cop. Do it often. It pays off handsomely if you work it right. But don’t take liberties at speed traps. The favored cop might be off that day!
-Ken • 214.350.6958
As always, your questions and comments are welcomed in the spaces below. If you’d rather talk, call me. That’s my direct cell phone number above.