DEAR ABBY: I'm writing in response to the letter from "Reader in the East" asking what to give someone who has just graduated from the police academy. Abby, the patron saint of police officers and law enforcement is St. Michael, not St. Christopher!

Another thoughtful gift would be a charm of the trooper's shield with his badge number on it. I gave my husband a small replica of his shield with his number on the front and a message of love and safety on the back. He never goes out the door without his "good luck shield." He says that it and his bulletproof vest are the best protection he has. (He also has a St. Michael's medal, and wears it as well.)

- Trooper's Wife in New York

DEAR TROOPER'S WIFE: Thank you for the excellent gift idea, and for straightening me out about the patron saint of law enforcement. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: If the officer is Hispanic, a St. Sebastian medal would be appropriate. "St. Seb" is the patron saint of Hispanic police officers.

- Audrey in Pittsburgh

DEAR ABBY: My mother gave me a policeman's Bible. I lost my job as a police officer due to alcohol. If I had stayed with my head in the Bible rather than my lips to the bottle, I'd still be pursuing the job I had waited for since birth.

- Hoping to Help, Jackson, Miss.

DEAR ABBY: I would suggest getting him something NOT related to police work. "The job" can destroy marriages, relationships, even people. From a cop's point of view, the best gift "Reader in the East" can give is time with loved ones away from work. *

- Chasing Bad Guys in Oregon