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Thread: LE uniforms dressing down ?

  1. #1

    LE uniforms dressing down ?

    Interesting article on some LE agencies permitting “dressing down” as a new trend: https://www.calibrepress.com/2019/11...g-you-at-risk/. I’m retired now, but I do think the author has a point. Only time we could wear alternate uniform was as an instructor at the Academy. What is your opinion ?
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  2. #2
    In my estimation, it’s far more important for there to be full, 360-degree identification (“POLICE” markings) on a patrol uniform, than for that uniform to include “traditional” features like shined boots and leather gear, polished brass/silver hardware, and a cover.

    Some agencies even go so far as to have a very traditional looking uniform, but without shoulder patches or back placards/lettering. I think that’s a mistake.

    Stretchy “tactical” pants with lots of pockets, lightweight shoes or boots, and breathable shirts with outer armor carriers are practical and comfortable. I don’t see a very good reason not to adopt such features, but I maintain that “POLICE” markings on front, back, and sides should be the priority. I do also think that shirts and pants should be color matched for a slightly more official, “uniform” appearance.
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  3. #3
    LE Forum Moderator BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Soft uniforms for urban patrol are bullshit pandering. Pandering to the "scared of the police" crowd and the lazy officer crowd. Some drunk patrol on the beach, maybe, but for an urban environment where respect and violence are currencies? Fuck no.

    We've had two shitbags shoot and injure SWAT officers then convince a jury they thought they were being robbed. Full Swat gear. You think someone who fights a polo clad cop isn't going to have an even better chance?
    L'otters are not afraid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.
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  4. #4

    LE uniforms dressing down ?

    Also, I’ve noticed that some small agencies are very lax about uniforms, to the point that if three patrol officers show up on a call, one might be wearing a black T-shirt and outer vest, one might be wearing a traditional uniform shirt with shoulder patches and a concealed vest, and another might be wearing a long-sleeve T-shirt with “POLICE” written down the sleeves and no vest at all.

    I think that’s a mistake too. Residents and visitors should be able to get used to what a given police force’s uniforms look like. Such familiarity is part of the identification benefit of a uniform.

    Oh, and another thing. In terms of “command presence”, I think that being fit, alert, and decisive all matter more than how much bling and shoe shine you’re wearing.

    You might be all dressed up like a blend of LAPD and RI State Police, but if your upper arms are 12” around, your posture sucks, you have a pot belly, and your face is buried in your phone all the time, someone will eventually decide to kick your ass just because.
    Last edited by Le Français; 11-06-2019 at 08:05 PM.
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  5. #5
    Member TGS's Avatar
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    I'm not a uniformed patrol cop, so that might color my opinion. If the polo is marked on the back and front, or a marked outer vest is worn, I don't see the big issue. I'm not a big fan of doing anything overt where there isn't front and back markings though, regardless of whether you're wearing a shitty polyester uniform shirt or not. I used to wear Blauer, 5.11, Elbeco, Flying Cross, etc uniform brands (the same exact ones as cops) when I was in EMS, though, and 110% preferred working in the polo. In my current position, I have no concerns about whether people (bystanders or other cops) think I'm police when wearing an outer vest, properly marked.

    Quote Originally Posted by BehindBlueI's View Post
    We've had two shitbags shoot and injure SWAT officers then convince a jury they thought they were being robbed. Full Swat gear. You think someone who fights a polo clad cop isn't going to have an even better chance?
    I think that given any question, somebody could probably find a one off exceptional event like this to make their point.....I don't think that's entirely relevant, though. If your omniscient data shows a trend of criminals successfully claiming self-defense to cops because they were dressed in full SWAT gear, marked, with lights going and announcements being made, then that's another thing.

    Does the below picture look like they're not the police? Is their mode of dress causing an officer safety issue?

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    Last edited by TGS; 11-06-2019 at 08:09 PM.
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  6. #6
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    My post is tangential and at best indirectly pertinent. I taught in an inner city high school for 16 years. During this time span the district relaxed dress code from at least shirt and tie to anything goes. All of us noticed that when we dressed down, we lost respect and had more discipline problems. When I taught in a correctional setting, the same observation held true. Always I was courteous and personable in the sense that I had genuine interest in students' progress. Never ever was I as a teacher anybody's buddy regardless of where I taught. As a jailer, I was courteous and attentive but cut back somewhat on the personable part. Familiarity breeds contempt.
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  7. #7
    I personally feel that polyester should go the way of the dodo except for class As. I'd like to see agencies go with a professional collared non-melt work shirt with utility pants.

    Polyester outlived its usefulness a long time ago. Let's give cops a more comfortable and practical uniform while maintaining a professional and tailored look.
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  8. #8
    "Does the below picture look like they're not the police?"

    IANALeo.

    If you search amazon for 'police vest' and 'police badge', there is a metric buttload of things that look a lot like that, at least to my untutored civilian eye - and in this context, isn't that the eye that matters?

    My sense (and I'm sure willing to be corrected) is that impersonators rarely go to the trouble to go full traditional patrol uniform, whatever it is in your locale. I'm thinking about pants with a stripe, differently colored epaulets on the shirt, the shirt pocket flaps with points, name tags and other patches, etc, etc, etc. So when I see someone wearing that, I'm 99.99999% sure they aren't an impersonator. The farther you get from that, the more doubt I have. That doubt is bad for both of us.
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  9. #9
    Member TGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whomever View Post
    "Does the below picture look like they're not the police?"

    IANALeo.

    If you search amazon for 'police vest' and 'police badge', there is a metric buttload of things that look a lot like that, at least to my untutored civilian eye - and in this context, isn't that the eye that matters?

    My sense (and I'm sure willing to be corrected) is that impersonators rarely go to the trouble to go full traditional patrol uniform, whatever it is in your locale. I'm thinking about pants with a stripe, differently colored epaulets on the shirt, the shirt pocket flaps with points, name tags and other patches, etc, etc, etc. So when I see someone wearing that, I'm 99.99999% sure they aren't an impersonator. The farther you get from that, the more doubt I have. That doubt is bad for both of us.
    If you search the internet you can buy regular, traditional police uniforms, too.

    Impersonators usually don't do anything beyond buy a fake badge.
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  10. #10
    LE Forum Moderator BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGS View Post
    I think that given any question, somebody could probably find a one off exceptional event like this to make their point.....I don't think that's entirely relevant, though. If your omniscient data shows a trend of criminals successfully claiming self-defense to cops because they were dressed in full SWAT gear, marked, with lights going and announcements being made, then that's another thing.
    Well, it's 2 for 2 in the past few years in that exact circumstance.

    Covert guy shot at, attempt murder filed but dismissed. Final plea to criminal recklessness and carrying without a license:

    ***
    Department of Correction
    Term: 4 Yr
    Jail Credit: 178 Days
    Comment: 3 years doc. 1 year community corrections.
    **

    So maybe 18 months in custody and then a year of wrapping foil around his ankle when he wants to go out. That'll teach him, but given the direction of recent juries the prosecutor decided that's a win.

    My point is if juries will buy that claim with all of that, how much of an easier sell is a soft uniform on street patrol? I can tell you first hand that shit that used to be attempted murder of an officer is now, per the prosecutor, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon. I know this from recent personal experience as well as the above incidents.

    Simply watching drunks interact with the same cop in TDUs vs bicycle cop outfits on different days of bar detail overtime turned me off to soft uniforms. Same reason Homicide has to wear suits but district detectives can wear polos. There's a cache to appearance.

    I think the above is both relevant to the topic and that soft uniforms will exacerbate those issues listed. If you disagree, I've no problem with your belief but I do not share it.
    Last edited by BehindBlueI's; 11-06-2019 at 08:51 PM. Reason: edited for clarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.
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