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View Poll Results: Do you support departments allowing patrol officers to wear casual uniforms?

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  • Casual uniforms are ok for all officers.

    25 36.23%
  • Conventional uniforms should be worn for uniform patrol work.

    42 60.87%
  • I don't know. Who cares?

    2 2.90%
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  1. #1
    countybear's Avatar
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    "Casual" uniforms, good or bad?

    In what seems to be a recent trend, many departments are allowing more "casual" uniform appearance by line (uniform patrol) officers. Primarily, these consist of a polo shirt, and cargo-type pants or even shorts. These polo shirts often bear embroidered badges, the officer's name, and "POLICE" or "SHERIFF", etc. on the back to aid in easy identification of the officer. Lightweight nylon duty belts accent the casual uniforms, rather than conventional leather-like gear.

    Some departments say they are doing it for officer comfort and/or convenience, and some for budget savings. Detractors say that the officers lose a more formal and professional uniform appearance in the process.

    This thread was posted in a public area, because I wanted the public to chime in on their perspectives regarding this topic as well.

    Do you support departments allowing uniform patrol officers to wear casual uniforms, or do you believe that conventional uniforms add to a professional appearance?

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  2. #2
    Cidp24's Avatar
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    Working where I do with absolutely horrible heat / humidity in the summer, I am all for something besides black polyester. Bad thing is, I havent seen anything that looks professional and that will last any length of time without looking faded or worn. I dont think Polo-style shirts are the way to go because they look too casual. Much of the "look" of any uniform depends on the individual officer and how they care for their clothes or equipment.
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  3. #3
    Jenna's Avatar
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    If a casual uniform is more comfortable, go for it. I feel bad for officers who have to stand in the hot sun in dark polyester long-sleeved uniforms.

    The first departments that go casual might raise eyebrows, but eventually people will get used to it. If enough departments do it, we'll eventually assume that the casual look is normal. Just get some really popular TV show to feature casually dressed cops, and everyone will think that's how it's supposed to be done!

  4. #4
    Cheech Guest
    Im guilty of wearing casual clothing sometimes only because I was dragged in to do something! I dont like the casual look. Patrol wise at least Id rather see uniforms

  5. #5
    BigDawg's Avatar
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    in my opinion the casual uniform, polo shirt and BDU pants, is the perfect uniform for night patrol. The chances for an officer to chase someone, fight them, or anything is greater at night than during the day. This is where this type of uniform is better suited. Plus the large Police or Sheriff lettering on the back is usually reflective and that helps on vehicle stops at night.

    Where the regular uniform is better during the day. It provides a more professional appearence when more of the public is out and observes those officers. Yes that is also when the heat is the worse, but that is when the professional look should be shown.
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  6. #6
    Standard Dave's Avatar
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    Tunic and renforced top hats all round I say

    Seriously I would prefer a more practical uniform not one designed in the late 1800's

  7. #7
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Line patrol officers should be in "regular" uniforms. Polos and BDUs or other variations are fine for specialty assignments (bikes, community resource/neighborhood patrol, etc.) where you want the cops in uniform, meaning standard attire for all, but less "official" looking -- but regular patrol should look like cops. And I think this is even more important on night shift; if someone's creeping around behind a house, I want it to be pretty clear that they're a cop! (I'm not talking all sorts of shiny crap -- just a regular uniform.)

    I don't have a problem for patrol wear with the BDU-style pants that have come out; there are several designs that still look sharp. And I do think that the design and material of the regular uniform should be selected with an eye to what cops do; they need to be durable. It always annoyed me in patrol to have to walk through brush or something, and get a pair of pants ruined because they were polyester slacks...

  8. #8
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    A proper uniform looks more proffesional but it should be made so as the officers wearing it can be comfortable as well surely both could be reachable.
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  9. #9
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    I have always felt that patrol officers should wear a "regular" uniform for normal patrol due to the fact of Officer presence. A neat uniform can make more differance than we may ever know.
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  10. #10
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    I think that traditional uniforms give a more polished, professional, and authoritative look to the officer. However, the wearer of the uniform often determines the degree of professionalism surrounding him or her, regardless of the uniform style.

    I'd choose whichever style of uniform that is most comfortable, safe, and practical for the officers to do their jobs.




  11. #11
    lewisipso's Avatar
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    I like conventional uniforms or at least nicely pressed BDU's.
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  12. #12
    Terminator's Avatar
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    As long as they're neat, pressed, and professional looking, give me casual uniforms anyday!

  13. #13
    121Traffic's Avatar
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    I think that for routine daytime/afternoon/evening patrol, a regular uniform is best. We wear shorts/polo/duty gear when we work extra detail at a waterpark, and people constantly mistake us for security or park police. We get in lots of fights with DK park guests, rowdy college kids, etc simply because the uniform, no matter who wears it, does not command the same respect as a regular uniform.

    That being said, I do like pressed BDUs for graveyards (my shift does BDUs on Friday and Saturday graves...a kick ass take names uniform for footchases, barfights, foot patrol, etc) and the other gang officer and I have PD embroidered windshirts for plainclothes stuff.
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  14. #14
    Terminator's Avatar
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    If you go to www.Lewistonpd.org and check out their personnel page, you'll see they wear nice looking, professional BDU uniforms. That is their patrol uniform. They also have the standard convential uniform for special events.

  15. #15
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    Right now our standard uniform is pressed bdu's or bdu pants and a polo . I personally wear the 511 TDU bdu's (Navy Blue).
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  16. #16
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    Specialist units or certain types of patrol work may warrant this look, bike patrol, beach patrol & school resource officer are some that come to mind, but the uniform patrols should always have the more professional appearance.

    The other issue about having too many different uniforms is, like you, we have a proliferation of private security that mimic LEO's uniforms. One reason why we have a chequered band on our hats/caps and private security are prohibited from using it. But unlike you, we are the only armed uniform person the public will encounter besides the guys carrying the money bags into the banks.

  17. #17
    Tony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standard Dave View Post
    Tunic and renforced top hats all round I say
    You've been talking to one of our Inspectors then? If you work the football or cricket at the M.C.G. you have to wear the white cap with metal badge instead of the general issue baseball cap. Cap and badge = $160 ~ baseball cap = $5. In a fight its the first thing that gets knocked to the ground and the drunks love a souvenir.

  18. #18
    Iron Man's Avatar
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    Casual all the way, so as long as it looks neat.
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  19. #19
    SaraJ is offline Banned
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    Personally I prefer formal uniforms. More dignified and professional. But then I don't have to wear them. I think the officers should have more input into the type of uniform they want to wear.

  20. #20
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    I like the conventional. I'm sure I'll disagree once I get a job, but I think a police officer should look professional and conservative.
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