An Awesome Souvenir: Policia Nacional Helmet- Colombia

a white helmet with a green emblem
Colombia National Police Helmet

During our trip to Colombia (a few years back), Kim and I spent a few days in Bogota.
We both really liked the city and would’ve liked a bit more time there.

We visited a few museums in Bogota including the National Police Museum.
The museum was really interesting. There were lots of displays featuring various gear and weapons used by the police over the years. There was also a lot of space devoted to Pablo Escobar, the infamous cocaine drug lord. The best part of the museum is that admission is free and you are given a private tour by a young, local guide serving their mandatory one year of service with the police.The guides seemed to be enjoying their jobs  and told us they were happy to have people to practice their English with.

a police officers standing outside of a building

When we left the museum, we saw lots of small shops selling police paraphernalia.
They could buy everything needed for their uniforms as well as some other items. While these shops were really meant for the police officers, they did have a few souvenirs.

I saw some things of interest . Most of the shopkeepers spoke limited English but we were told that to buy most of the items you needed a letter or police identification.
Here are a couple of items that I bought:

a statue of a boy in uniform
Colombian National Police Statue
a black badge with a lanyard
ID Card Holder
a black badge with a white and green lanyard
Back of ID with National Police Logo
While browsing around the shops, I came across one item that I really wanted to buy. The stall had a Colombia Policia Nacional Helmet. We asked what the price was but the shopkeeper would not sell it to us. From what we could understand (in our limited Spanish), the helmet could only be bought by police or if you had a letter authorizing you to buy it. After asking some more, Kim thought she heard the shopkeeper tell us to come back later.
We decided to leave and wander around Bogota some more before heading back later in the day. I couldn’t stop thinking about the Policia helmet and was really hoping that I could get to bring it home. It would definitely make a unique and interesting addition to my collection.
a green and white logo
The Policia Nacional Logo
a white helmet with straps in it
The Inside

We headed back to the shop a few hours later. After wandering around, trying to find our way back, we found it. This time there was a young girl there, not the man we had spoken to earlier in the day.
I asked for a price on the helmet and was told around $20. I said that I would like to buy it and she had us wait for a moment. She came back with the man we had spoken to earlier.
He agreed to sell me the helmet but said that he wasn’t supposed to. We were then told to try to bury it at the bottom of our bag when flying home from Colombia.
I followed his directions and packed the helmet at the bottom of my backpack. I had to fill it with clothes so that all of my things would fit back in my bag. When I got to the airport, I checked my bag and hoped that the helmet would make it back home.
Once we got home, I couldn’t wait to empty my bag to see if my Colombian Policia Nacional helmet had made it back.
I was excited to see that an awesome souvenir and great addition to my hat collection had made it home safely to NYC!

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