Alternate uniform

RL1

Member
May 20, 2010
1,650
Ga
Does anyone work for a department that allows them to wear polo shirt or shown on badges/ name tapes while on duty? We currently wear LAPD Navy polyester year round, with collar pins, badges, metal name tags, and, when on days, whistle chains required for shirts and the pants don't even have sap pockets. We have a department wide, mandatory meeting with the chef next week (city hall finally got wind of some of our complaints and almost fired him... too bad they didn't) and I would like to throw an alternate uniform out there. I think our uniforms look sharp, esp the winter long sleeves with dickie, but it's just took freaking hot in south GA to wear dark navy, black shoes/ belt, vest, etc when we have to run people down, direct traffic, work school zones, and all our other tasks.
 

Fast LT1

Member
May 24, 2010
2,018
Sedgwick County, KS
We ran 5.11 green polos with 5.11 khaki pants, with department name emboroidered on back and embroidered badge and name on front. Its really comfortable, in fact after quitting i bought some of the same style shirts and pants and wear them regularly (without embroidery) and i also use embroidered blue 5.11 polos with black pants while doing security work (so from the front no one confuses the uniform with local leo's).
 
Jul 14, 2010
1,639
S.W. Ohio USA
Dark Navy 5.11 polos with embroidered badges and name tags and police on the back. 5.11 shorts for certain hot duty assignments, and Blauer Street Gear dark navy pants or 5.11 tactical pants with the cargo pockets on the sides. Looks sharp, many positive comments from the public.


Sloppy is sloppy regardless of the uniform. Our spit-shined officers looked great in the "soft" uniform, while our slobs looked terrible no matter what they wore. (I'm now retired, but I put the above uniform program together before I left)
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
RL1 said:
We currently wear LAPD Navy polyester year round, with collar pins, badges, metal name tags, and, when on days, whistle chains required for shirts and the pants don't even have sap pockets.

Well there's your problem - polyester. A higher quality uniform will be made out of tropical wool, which breaths, instead or polyester, which functions like one of those bags that turkeys roast in to seal in the juices. Sap pockets are nice for carrying pens and flashlights, but I haven't heard of an agency issuing saps since like 1975. I have a couple, but from a best practices standpoint, smacking someone with a sap when you have expandable batons, OC and TASERs available is going to cause some questions. You can get a lot of the benefits but still maintain a squared away appearance with lines like Blauer Streetgear


I initially bought into the "soft" uniform concept in a big way, and in some circumstances they may be great. But for mainstream LE duties, cops need to look like cops - command presence counts for a lot. My experience is that once given the options to go casual, guys will really push the limits. I've never heard anyone say that a copper in 5.11s and a polo looked sharp. And to a degree, I think that the industry has a vested interest in pushing their product - look at how much they spend on advertising, versus the companies that make real, no-shit leather duty jackets and motorcop boots. Even 5.11 has a "normal" uniform line, knowing full well that not every agency wants their troops looking like heavily armed pool boys.


And if complaints about the uniform are a big deal, don't get rid of your chief, or you are likely to get one who will give you really serious stuff to complain about. Nowhere in your contract does it say you have the right to be comfortable. I'll bet the Sentries at the Tomb of the Unknowns aren't comfortable during their tour.
 

mcpd2025

Member
May 20, 2010
1,557
Maryland, USA
I remember some old COPS episodes from Georgia where the officers wore BDU pants and a polo shirt that read the name of the agency across the back, name on the right breast and either an embroidered badge or a real badge on the left breast. I think that the officers still looked sharp and professional, despite not being in a class A or B style uniform.


In my department, the secret is to get bike trained. Our bike uniform includes shorts and a polo shirt.
 

TheZach

Member
Jun 5, 2010
316
Kalamazoo, MI
Around here the only officer I have ever seen out of uniform while patrolling was a bicycle officer. They wore a bright blue bicyclist style shirt with police along the back and an actual badge in the front and black shorts.


I think its acceptable to for patrol officers to be able to wear polo's and shorts on the hotter days or while patrolling outside. Heat causes exhaustion and exhausted officers are not an acceptable thing. I also don't see a problem with an officer wearing something a bit more comfortable as well as long as its functional, looks professional and properly identifies the jurisdiction the officer is with and their name like a standard uniform would.


As someone who grew up in wooded environment I think I should point out that you should consider the terrain of the area you patrol and how often you chase suspects in rough terrain. No one wants to be wearing shorts running through thick brush or the woods.
 

UndercoverVLS

Member
Jun 1, 2010
337
NY
In NY we have a few "Alternate" uniforms, some relate to specific assignments, though that is stretched a little.....


We have a polo style shirt with a sewn on shield and name/shield # on the front, mainly a bicycle uniform, but certain units use them during patrol as well.


Spring/early Winter/Fall we can wear a standard Long Sleeve with a turtleneck (or dickie) underneath as opposed to the tie option.
 

FreshDave04

Member
Jun 30, 2010
3,000
Elkhart, IN
On days above 75 degrees, I wear our polo uniform shirt. It has an embroidered badge, "POLICE" on the front right chest, and "PARK POLICE" on the back - with "PARK" in a smaller font than "POLICE". I'm also a bike officer, so when I'm on that detail (or it's a really hot day), I'll wear our BDU shorts. The embroidery work is really good. My wife's godmother owns a uniform shop in town that serves all PD/FD/EMS departments in the region... so, I get a little bit of a price break.


Our Polo's are by a company called "The Force" - http://www.theforceonline.com/product2/objectviewer.aspx?Type=Feature&ObjectID=132561
 

RL1

Member
May 20, 2010
1,650
Ga
I would honestly be happy with an outer vest carrier (Chicago style, though tac wouldn't be bad) and pants that will stand up to a chase through the woods. We don't have a bike unit and the aggressive crime enforcement unit is inactive due to some... issues with some evidence. They were supposed to have special uniforms but all they really did was grow goatees and get cotton/ wool blends.


The uniform isn't a big gripe compared to other stuff (like a guy who's DUI, takes off from an officer and 10-80's several miles, then gets transported without cuffs, sat in the jail SGT's office, given coffee, has his license returned so he can go out of town this weekend, and never even put into the jail computer, per the chief, all because he owns a body shop), but I'm just trying to get something that will actually be changed. Based on the last meeting,if we bitch about actual practices, we are 'encouraged to leave'.
 

TheZach

Member
Jun 5, 2010
316
Kalamazoo, MI
RL1 said:
I would honestly be happy with an outer vest carrier (Chicago style, though tac wouldn't be bad) and pants that will stand up to a chase through the woods. We don't have a bike unit and the aggressive crime enforcement unit is inactive due to some... issues with some evidence. They were supposed to have special uniforms but all they really did was grow goatees and get cotton/ wool blends.

The uniform isn't a big gripe compared to other stuff (like a guy who's DUI, takes off from an officer and 10-80's several miles, then gets transported without cuffs, sat in the jail SGT's office, given coffee, has his license returned so he can go out of town this weekend, and never even put into the jail computer, per the chief, all because he owns a body shop), but I'm just trying to get something that will actually be changed. Based on the last meeting,if we bitch about actual practices, we are 'encouraged to leave'.

I'm no expert in police work, but if an employer is being an asshole and its making significant problems at work maybe its time to find another employer.
 

PJD642

New Member
May 20, 2010
1,543
east of Cleveland
5.11 class "A" uniform shirts, either poly or poly-wool, seem to breath much better than standard uniform shirts for me. Plus they're a lot more comfortable and still look good. I prefer Blauer street gear pants - you've got the cargo pocket to stuff things in when necessary, and they still hold a crease. The 5.11 uniform pants, not so much. The expandable waistband add a lot of bulk and they don't hold a crease for shyt, even when dry cleaned.


Polo shirts are great if they have quality embroidery and are well fitted - guys who wear them oversized so they billow and sag look sloppy.
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
PJD642 said:
Polo shirts are great if they have quality embroidery and are well fitted - guys who wear them oversized so they billow and sag look sloppy.

Body armor doesn't help. Guys get the "normal" size shirt, and they look like they are wearing body armor, or they forgo it altogether, or they get the shirts too large. It really isn't cost-effective to tailor polos for the proper fit over the armor.
 

charlie82

Member
May 21, 2010
353
PA / USA
For EMS - we wear 5.11 4-pocket pants and a 5.11 class B shirt. All navy, looks very sharp. For some reason, in the summer months, we can forego the shirt and go with a T-shirt that says "______ EMS" and has our seal on the front. I would rather sweat a little than wear that.
 

Bonanno

Member
May 21, 2010
535
Neptune, NJ
My PD technically isn't allowed to wear Class B uniforms outside of Bike Patrol. It still happens when the weather is really, really bad out though. Ex-Chief was all for 24/7 wear of Class A's but new Chief is looking into normal wear of it for certain shifts/assignments.


Our Winter Class B uniform is the following:


Navy Blue 6-pocket BDU pants with Gold Stripe down side.


French Blue Class B Shirt with LCPD Name tape on right side pocket and sewn on badge on Left chest. Dept Patch left sleeve, American flag right sleeve.


In winter with that uniform some guys also wear turtlenecks or just wear a crew t-shirt/long sleeve/underarmor.


Its also 50/50 with guys blousing the pants or just wearing straight legged.


Our Summer Class B Uniform in the summer doubles as the Bike Patrol Uniform. The only difference between this and winter is that its a Yellow Polo Shift worn that has a pocket on left chest that is for notebook and pens. On both sleeves is a 1" reflective silver stripe that is sewn on. On The rear is POLICE in reflective.


Most guys who have Class B's also have Nylon Gear as With out Class A's we are supposed to have Basket Weave leather, even though some of the part-timers have a mix-match or just nylon. Also have a flex-fit baseball cap with a miniature Dept patch sewn on front and badge # embroidered on rear. Hat is black


In the summer I love being on the Bike to get exercise, more freedom in where I can go, ease of patrol and public reaction and best of all... a uniform that BREATHS.


Our normal Class A's are Elbeco Patrol Class A Pants (the ones that are wool/polyester blend) that are custom tailored with a 100% Polyester Class A shirt that is also Tailored around armor. Some of these are regular button-up some are zipper-up. All depends on which uniform shop we went to. We have to wear on shirts Badge, Nameplate, State of NJ Silver Buttons on shoulders and pockets, Black Whistle Lanyard on right side to pocket from shoulder tab, and Collar Brass (LC 1 side, PD on other). In long-sleeves we usually wear a tie most of the time with tie-bar/tack. If have tie on we wear a Sam-Brown Strap as well. AT OIC discretion we could wear turtle-necks with no tie. Pants are Navy Blue with Gold Strip, Shirt French Blue, Cover is trooper hat in Navy Blue with Silver band band and leather chinstrap over top.


Jacket Wise Most of the guys have regular Patrol Jackets in Navy with Same Patch layout as shirts with a metal badge on outside. Some of the guys though use Leather Coats, I believe they are Mounted/Motorcycle Unit Jackets that we got approved to have even though we have neither... LOL.


We are in the process of designing a dress uniform which will have a dress blouse and Grey cowboy hat possibly as we used to wear a LONG time ago
 

Paul

Member
May 21, 2010
63
Arizona
crescentstar69 said:
Dark Navy 5.11 polos with embroidered badges and name tags and police on the back. 5.11 shorts for certain hot duty assignments, and Blauer Street Gear dark navy pants or 5.11 tactical pants with the cargo pockets on the sides. Looks sharp, many positive comments from the public.

Sloppy is sloppy regardless of the uniform. Our spit-shined officers looked great in the "soft" uniform, while our slobs looked terrible no matter what they wore. (I'm now retired, but I put the above uniform program together before I left)

My office allows 5.11 tactical pants with a polo (shoulder patches and embroidered badge). Only thing I wish they would let us do is put "SHERIFF" on the back. We also wear that same uniform with our outer-carriers which they also dont allow "SHERIFF" on the back :evil:
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
Paul said:
My office allows 5.11 tactical pants with a polo (shoulder patches and embroidered badge). Only thing I wish they would let us do is put "SHERIFF" on the back. We also wear that same uniform with our outer-carriers which they also dont allow "SHERIFF" on the back :evil:

They have some value, but are also called "Shoot Me" patches for a reason. I prefer wearing as few aiming points as possible.
 

Station 3

Member
May 21, 2010
3,395
Edinburg Texas
We wear just "Proper" i think thats the name of the company well yeah its proper kakhi tactical pants and a simple black T- Shirt that says POLICE on it we dont need any uniform shirts or fancy name tags or anything since we wear a Point Blank Bullet Proof vest over all of it wich also says POLICE on it and we were our badges on the top left shoulder were there is a mic strap. Its very simple and affective only the Chief and morning staff police officers were the regular uniforms u know button up shirt name tag all that stuff. But the night staff use what i had mentioned at first. I like it i personally think that people respect you more with what the night staff use . :cool:
 

cpd1212

Member
May 21, 2010
53
Chicago, IL
We have a few options when it comes to our uniforms. The Summer uniform consists of light blue button down short sleeve shirt, navy pants, and our traditional round crown, checkerboard hat. We have a baseball cap and navy blue cargo pants, but they must be paired together. Shorts are also an option as of last summer.


Winter/fall uniforms consist of the same pants, long sleeve version of the above shirt and the option of a tie, turtleneck or dickie. We have the option of a pull over or zip up sweater also. Jackets consist of the traditional navy blue leather, three different nylon jackets (depends on your hire date), and the option of the double breasted wool reefer. Hat is the round crown checkerboard, trooper style cap with earflaps, baseball cap, or skull cap.


We also have a black BDU uniform that just recently made an appearance after a two year absence. We've had them, we just have not worn them. They consist of black six pocket pants, two pocket shirt, and USMC style cap. Names, star numbers, and unit of assignment are sewn onto the shirts. Patches are subdued black/gray versions of our traditional Chicago PD, and Chicago flag patches.


Our vest carriers are an option all year round. They can be black in color or the same light blue as the uniform shirt. Materials consist of various types of nylon or even leather. As of last year we have th option of having a star/number, name, and unit of assignment sewn onto the front. If you opt for the aforementioned sewing, you are also required to have "POLICE" across the back.


We have a lot of guys pushing the limits with the baseball cap. Backwards, frat boy bill roll, faded, beat up, etc. The shorts look terrible and it is always a joke when guys are wearing them. We are hearing more and more of the possibility of a polo shirt, but I personally think they look unprofessional. Comfortable or not, your uniform should convey police.
 

patrol530

Member
May 23, 2010
1,016
Central Florida
We've got a class "C" uniform. Khaki blouse and cargo pants. The badge and insignia is all embroidered. It's the standard uniform type for K-9 handlers, however road patrol is only authorized to wear this style on night shift. It's class "B" polyester bags for day shift, mo' professional, says the Captain.
 

11b101abn

New Member
Jun 10, 2010
549
Georgia, United States
Stendec said:
They have some value, but are also called "Shoot Me" patches for a reason. I prefer wearing as few aiming points as possible.


Find one, just one instance of a back patch getting an officer shot, or otherwise allowing a suspect to better engage the officer.


I bet you will find none.


Back patches are for other officers. Kind of an IFF for cops. 360 degree identification is supremely important.
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
As I said, they have some value, but if you can't tell who is in your stack or on your team, you have problems that a patch wont solve. Working in plainclothes or with other agencies where I may not be known on sight, I wear the usual raid jacket, but other than that I'm more worried about the people in front that I'm confronting knowing who I am than the other cops behind me, who are probably standing there with their fingers on their triggers waiting to ND one into me no matter what I'm wearing.


Some twit of a sheriff out west made his team wear hi-viz traffic vests on all their entries, thought that would be "safer."
 

RL1

Member
May 20, 2010
1,650
Ga
Well, the meeting ended up being a 'listen to the chief, capt, and lt's; patrol, sit nice'. At least I got OT out of it.


For markings on the back, I kind of like what the FD in my work town does. They have royal blue shirts with JFD in gold on the back collar. I think a navy polo with like gray letters would be ok, or maybe a stripe or something so other officer's know you are a cop (if they don't see the belt for some reason).


As for the hi-viz vests, that reminds me of the Brits. Maybe the sheriff also likes hot tea?
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
RL1 said:
As for the hi-viz vests, that reminds me of the Brits. Maybe the sheriff also likes hot tea?

Actually, I like the hi-viz stuff and wish the troops would wear it more often, particularly those of us that wear uniforms that are a perfect blend for concrete and asphalt. I just don't think that they are good to wear at 0400 when you are serving a no-knock on a murder suspect or meth lab. I think the theory was something along the lines of preventing the perps from claiming that they shot a deputy because they mistook the entry for a rip-off, given that no crook would be dumb enough to wear a day-glo reflective vest that said "Sheriff" to rob someone.
 

11b101abn

New Member
Jun 10, 2010
549
Georgia, United States
Stendec said:
Actually, I like the hi-viz stuff and wish the troops would wear it more often, particularly those of us that wear uniforms that are a perfect blend for concrete and asphalt. I just don't think that they are good to wear at 0400 when you are serving a no-knock on a murder suspect or meth lab. I think the theory was something along the lines of preventing the perps from claiming that they shot a deputy because they mistook the entry for a rip-off, given that no crook would be dumb enough to wear a day-glo reflective vest that said "Sheriff" to rob someone.


The idea of wearing traffice vests on a warrant service is stupid. However, there is some utility to the idea on an active shooter incident where an officer should proceed w/o waiting into a location to find the perp. (If he does it right).
 

11b101abn

New Member
Jun 10, 2010
549
Georgia, United States
RL1 said:
Well, the meeting ended up being a 'listen to the chief, capt, and lt's; patrol, sit nice'. At least I got OT out of it.

For markings on the back, I kind of like what the FD in my work town does. They have royal blue shirts with JFD in gold on the back collar. I think a navy polo with like gray letters would be ok, or maybe a stripe or something so other officer's know you are a cop (if they don't see the belt for some reason).


As for the hi-viz vests, that reminds me of the Brits. Maybe the sheriff also likes hot tea?


Bigger markings are better. Small lettering will have no impact in terms of IDing an officer.


360 identification is the point.
 

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