If you’re an officer of the law and you’re in the market for new dress uniform, a shiny baton, or even a life-like miniature model of a Nassau County police cruiser, chances are has what you’re looking for.
Massapequa residents Sue and Salvatore Piccolo have been in the business of helping police officers, and other uniformed service members, gear up for duty since 1993.
“My husband was an officer with the NYPD,” Sue Piccolo said. “He had always made his own custom silk screened t-shirts for the Transit Police Authority, and it soon expanded to the NYPD and Nassau County. When my husband retired after 9/11, we decided to open up our own store and expand into selling police equipment as well.”
Eventually, the business grew until their original North Broadway location was too small; this past February, they moved from their 925 square-foot store down the road to their current 3,000 square-foot facility. The new establishment allowed the Piccolos to greatly expand the variety of merchandise and services they offer, especially since The Cop Shop was now working with the NYPD, Nassau County, and Suffolk County Police Academies as well.
At The Cop Shop, pretty much anything an on-or-off duty police officer could need is available, short of actual firearms. The items for sale run the gamut from dress and patrol uniforms, patches, holsters, batons, handcuffs, and pepper spray to flashlights, leather goods, belts, and so on. While an array firefighting gear is also offered, The Cop Shop’s focus is more on servicing the police of the NYPD, Nassau, and Suffolk, as well as New York State Troopers.
“If you’re buying something like a baton or pepper spray, you have to have ID,” Piccolo pointed out. “It’s a rule in our store...unless you’re one of our regulars, we don’t care who you are, if you don’t have ID, they do not get anything. We’ve actually had a few people arrested who tried to use fake ID’s in the past.”
More causal items are sold at The Cop Shop as well, such as t-shirts, sweat suits, children’s and infant clothing, novelties, and much more. And, of course, the custom silk screened and embroidered t-shirts that started the ball rolling for the Piccolos are still a major part of the business.
“The embroidery is done in the back by my daughter, Kati,” Sue Piccolo said. “We do orders for The American Legion, The International Lions, and different police departments throughout Long Island. In addition, anyone who needs something printed on t-shirts can come and see us. We can use existing artwork or do the artwork ourselves right here.”
In a tough economy, The Cop Shop is one of the few businesses that you’d assume was recession-proof; after all, there’s always a need for police and firefighters, and they always need the right equipment to do their jobs. But, according to Piccolo, she and her husband have had to tighten their belts along with most other merchants in Massapequa.
“The guys are really tight with buying new uniforms...we know how hard it is, money-wise, for a lot of them,” she said. “That’s why we keep the prices very low...out mark-up isn’t really what it should be, but we really want to service everyone and we have a lot of respect for all the officers.”
But the satisfaction Piccolo and her husband get out of helping to keep the boys in blue ready for action makes the hard times all worth it.
“With my husband being a former NYPD officer, we make a point of keeping our prices down, unlike a lot of the police equipment stores in the city,” she said. “And personally, I have so much respect for those guys. They go through a lot...being the wife of a police officer, you hear a lot about the job, and it’s very tough on all cops. It’s wonderful to be able to service them and get them what they need to do their jobs. We love it here.”