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Thread: LE uniforms dressing down ?

  1. #41
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    Years ago the sheriff decided to change jailer uniforms. Caps were banned. Shirts and pants purchased from a single vendor(his)were the rule. Any dummy could see these items were factory seconds. Pants had short strides and also were designed to fit low on the waist. They would have fit Peter Pan but nobody else. Everybody complained. Women reported extreme camel toe issues. Morale was damaged. When a fat girlfriend of a high official was hired, then these uniforms went away.

    Being issued uniforms having comfort and durability and satisfying department policy would be a good compromise. If policy permits officers to use their money to purchase similar pants and shirts considered more desirable than department issue, then they can resolve comfort and durability issues. If officers object to spending their own coin, then perhaps they want to eat their cake and have it too.

    Do cops worry more about looking cool their do fireman? Law enforcement agencies have and will require more regimentation than than other employers. Does one fret that he can't have a sleeve or facsimiles of jailhouse tattoos visible to all? Does he complain that he can't have a full beard worn by metrosexuals in tactical ads? I'm reminded of a friend who earned a commission in the Marine Corps but refused to be sworn in and resigned. He went to their officer's school only to see if he was man enough to pass. His objection? Short haircuts were not cool. This is a true story. However, I poke fun to some extent about concern for cool appearance, yet I am observing this attitude more and more.
    Also, I have observed that over the years people are objecting more and more when directed to follow procedure. My mama would tell us not to be titty babies when we complained. Once I shared a classroom with a young teacher who complained that her boyfriend had a short dick. That comment made me think that she measured it. I asked how long was it, and she held up two fingers from each hand to indicate distance as if she was describing a fish.

  2. #42
    Ultimately the world moves on and changes, no matter the environment. I have no issue with the ďsoft uniformsĒ as long as they are consistent within departments. As a guy who is definitely on the older side of my department I came up when the idea of a patrol officer with a beard was heresy. In the last couple of years, we, and just about every other department around us have changed policy to allow beards. There were some who hated the idea, thought we wouldnít look professional. I noted that many of the judges in our county have beards, many attorneys, many doctors, many engineers, scientists, and economists...basically everybody in every other career who wants to have one. Do they not look professional? The authorization for beards came and went.....and nothing changed, calls are still handled, investigations performed. If anything, personally Iíve had many people, particularly women, complement the beard. The only non-cops I have had criticize it were a guy I know who couldnít make it through FTO and now has a beard who doesnít think cops should have them, and a retired cop......who has a beard.....who doesnít think cops should have them. Iíll let you draw your own conclusions about their motivations.

    During my time in investigations, I worked wearing both the traditional suit and the tan pants/black polo shirt style. I never noticed any difference in interviews with the exception being that in the ďsofter clothesĒ set up, the interviews tended to go faster. Iíve always been a fan of asking people about things Iím curious about so over time I asked my regulars about the difference my clothing made to them. Basically what I was told was when they see a suit, they donít trust you and you immediately become someone perceived as dishonest, selfish, arrogant, and basically the enemy who is not to be trusted. With the softer setup, youíre still a cop, so itís adversarial still, but its different, the perception of dishonesty and arrogance was lower. I was surprised the reactions were that stark but I thought about it and it made sense. In our current culture, who wears suits? Lawyers, Salesman (car salesman particularly), people working in banks/insurance. Bottom line, people who large parts of society today associate with dishonesty. Doctors, tech workers, researchers, entrepreneurs, all kinds of people who have jobs people respect, generally do not wear suits anymore. Times change, clothing norms change with it.

    Society has changed allot over the past 20 years. Possibly more then at any other time in the last century or more. Police have to change with it, If youíre a quality candidate, or lateral, you have to compete with other candidates less then departments have to compete with each other over you. Do you want to lose out on quality people because you really want people to shave allot or you donít like polo shirts? Face it, in many jobs/careers, work life is getting easier and more flexible. Police work is getting harder, do we want to make it less flexible also? You think our recruitment numbers are bad now?

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
    ...snip

    Society has changed allot over the past 20 years. Possibly more then at any other time in the last century or more. Police have to change with it, If youíre a quality candidate, or lateral, you have to compete with other candidates less then departments have to compete with each other over you. Do you want to lose out on quality people because you really want people to shave allot or you donít like polo shirts? Face it, in many jobs/careers, work life is getting easier and more flexible. Police work is getting harder, do we want to make it less flexible also? You think our recruitment numbers are bad now?
    This is something which is plaguing LE as a whole throughout the US. Recruitment is way down in large magnet departments, while the smaller more lucrative PD's get overwhelmed, and even among them there is a need for more quality officers. As I stated, it's not 1950 anymore, LE needs to evolve with the times or those looking to get into LE will be fewer even still. Some think it's the Ferguson effect, it may be partially, but the fact is when perspective applicants talk to any seasons LEO's they quickly learn all the issues within a particular PD, biggest of all are the non-uniform uniformity.
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  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by voodoo_man View Post
    This is something which is plaguing LE as a whole throughout the US. Recruitment is way down in large magnet departments, while the smaller more lucrative PD's get overwhelmed, and even among them there is a need for more quality officers. As I stated, it's not 1950 anymore, LE needs to evolve with the times or those looking to get into LE will be fewer even still. Some think it's the Ferguson effect, it may be partially, but the fact is when perspective applicants talk to any seasons LEO's they quickly learn all the issues within a particular PD, biggest of all are the non-uniform uniformity.
    I donít even try to remember anyoneís names anymore until they are at my dept 5+ years. Iím off the road though. Most rookies quit under two years. Some last up to 2-3 months.

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Obelisk View Post
    I donít even try to remember anyoneís names anymore until they are at my dept 5+ years. Iím off the road though. Most rookies quit under two years. Some last up to 2-3 months.
    Totally normal unfortunately.
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  6. #46
    Iím not a fan of the polo shirts for patrol. I got to wear a BDU-style uniform when I worked interstate interdiction for a couple years, and liked that quite a bit.

    I used to be a big proponent of detectives wearing suits all the timeó until I was temporarily transferred from narcotics sergeant to CID sergeant about a year ago. My opinion on that changed after a foot pursuit, through the woods, in the snow, wearing a suit a dress shoes.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by TC215 View Post
    Iím not a fan of the polo shirts for patrol. I got to wear a BDU-style uniform when I worked interstate interdiction for a couple years, and liked that quite a bit.

    I used to be a big proponent of detectives wearing suits all the timeó until I was temporarily transferred from narcotics sergeant to CID sergeant about a year ago. My opinion on that changed after a foot pursuit, through the woods, in the snow, wearing a suit a dress shoes.
    I still remember hearing a foot pursuit go out on the radio right down the street from my partner and I.....in suits......I tried to run and just kept slipping because of the dress shoes. There is no set of clothes better set up to put you at a disadvantage in any kind of physical pursuit/fight, whatever then a suit. They provide no advantage but all kinds of disadvantages.

  8. #48
    LE Forum Moderator BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    I always wore rubber soled dress shoes or Chelsea boots. I've (stupidly) tracked with K9 a few times, once for a suspect and once a bloodhound track for a disabled child (who, unfortunately, drowned before we located him). I've walked through rubble and debris to check for injured citizens from a massive explosion. Other than being hyper-aware that nails would easily penetrate my shoes it wasn't terribly different. *edit* Walking on rip-rap was attention getting, though.

    That said, I do not wear European/Modern/Thom Browne style suits. Yes, those you can't move in. Suits used to be daily wear, same as sports coats were actually for outdoor sports, and if you stick to a traditional fit and you'll find it is not nearly as restrictive. The cost is my main concern when doing "dirty jobs" in a suit, I'd rather not rip my knees or get blood on a suit vs a pair of jeans or uniform trousers. I recognize the difference between "optimal" and "acceptable", but a good suit allows a wide range of activities.
    Last edited by BehindBlueI's; 11-09-2019 at 04:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
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  9. #49
    Finely tuned athletic machine Kyle Reese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obelisk View Post
    I donít even try to remember anyoneís names anymore until they are at my dept 5+ years. Iím off the road though. Most rookies quit under two years. Some last up to 2-3 months.
    Same. Iíve been seeing quite a few people leave during or right after their FTO training.


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  10. #50
    LE Forum Moderator BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obelisk View Post
    I donít even try to remember anyoneís names anymore until they are at my dept 5+ years. Iím off the road though. Most rookies quit under two years. Some last up to 2-3 months.
    Are they leaving LE entirely or just your department?

    I'm not seeing that kind of turnover here *once people graduate*, but our pay is pretty top shelf for the state. Prior to graduation, yeah. Lots of folks either didn't realize what they signed up for or wash out.
    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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