Friday, August 20, 2010

Uniform change

It's been about 35 years since LPD's uniform has been updated in any significant way, but that is changing.  Last year, we started issuing trousers sans the French blue stripe running down the leg.  That stripe's been around for about 60 years or so.  Losing the stripe makes a few other trouser styles more practical, particularly those with auxiliary side pockets--a popular option given the amount of gear officers carry.

Most people probably haven't even noticed the mix of stripe/no stripe as the old ones begin to disappear.  But the shirts are a little tougher to phase in, since our Uniform Task Force recommended a switch from French blue, which we have worn since our last uniform makeover in 1976, to solid navy blue--by far the most common shirt for municipal police forces.  Navy is easier to obtain in the market place, and is a standard stock item from suppliers that will be easier for our Property Unit to deal with. 

Beginning this week, you will start seeing some LPD officers in full navy blue, but it's going to be a while before the French blue shirts are a thing of the past.  We're not buying those anymore, and everything that needs to be ordered for replacement or new issue will be in the new styles and colors.  We will eventually get to the point where we can just declare those obsolete--probably within six months to a year.  With 321 officers, a uniform switch is tough to pull overnight, but we'll get there.  In the meantime, navy blue and French blue shirts will coexist, and the striped slack will fade away.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Better keep a set around for the officer who drives the old Diplomat.

Anonymous said...

Pictures?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. It's going to be harder to distinguish LPD from UNLPD with a quick glance now...

Anonymous said...

In 1976 I was on the committee that took the uniforms from the 1930's look of Sam Browne belts and blouses with clip-on ties for every occasion to what you have today.

The beauty of the new stuff is that the fabric and designs are much more functional and usable. And they'll save a ton of dough at the dry cleaners. Look forward to seeing the new stuff next time I'm in town.

256

Eric said...

I had noticed the missing stripe on the trousers with the Middle School Resource Officers about a year ago... but just curious, do you have a photo or a graphic of what the new shirts and jackets will look like??? So interested since I got your emailed description a few years ago ^_^ !

Anonymous said...

You'll need to update your pix for the blog as I believe you are in the French Blue shirt, no?

Tom Casady said...

8:41

Photos will be all over the media later today, and I'll post a link or two.

256-

Coolmax!

Eric-


Outerwear is not really changing. It's still a waist length removable liner job. Our jacket is morphing all the time, as the uniform suppliers add and discontinue models, but the changes are pretty subtle. Probably the most noticable external difference between the 2010 issue and my 1994 issue is the concealed pocket flaps and the lack of buttons. The recent vintage coats are much nicer in my opinion--the fabric is more supple, they're not as noisy, the fleece liner is comfy compared to the quilted thing, nice stand-up collar with roll-up hood, many more pockets. We've been transitioning to an embroidered badge on the jacket and a fabric nametag.

A couple other subtle changes: leather gear has no visible buckle or snaps. No more metal buttons on shirts, and double shoulder patches instead of one arm only.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering what is the cost to taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

Won't cost taxpayers much. Casady laid off some of his employees, and *poof* there is money for new clothes.

Tom Casady said...

10:23-

The color of the fabric won't make a difference. A police department is replacing a lot of shirts and slacks during the course of the year.

My officers have been anxious for an updated uniform taking advantage of the newer developments in textiles and construction for years. If you worked in all kinds of weather in body armor, I think you'd appreciate some of the features that are found on newer uniform apparel.

I don't think there is any item that will be more expensive than the item it replaces, and a few are less expensive. The Lycra blend trouser, Coolmax shirt, and embroidered jacket badge come immediately to mind.

Anonymous said...

Chief-In the olden days we paid for some of our uniforms. I think Paul Wiar charged us about $2 for the old grey shirts and we were fortunate to get some used pants that in my case had a light blue stripe around the bottom from where I had the cleaners let out the seam for length. My original gunbelt cost approximately 1/4 of a full month's paycheck in that new hightech material Corfam from Dehner's in Omaha. Because of exposure to the elements on a motorcycle, the pants had to be drycleaned after each use if you wanted to look sharp. Glad to see things progress into current times.

256

Anonymous said...

Excellent, should look sharp.

Now just need to outfit those Officers with a nice, reliable inexpensive Glock, and get rid of those overpriced Sigs!

Anonymous said...

To anon. 10:23. Based on how common the navy blue shirts are, it will likely save money on a shirt per shirt basis. Besides, the old uniforms were an eyesore, and non very practical. This is a good move for all.

And to anon 8:45 - UNLPD and LPD will still be easy to distinguish. Cruisers are very different schemes, and LPD will be patrolling the city, and UNLPD will be patrolling campus. ZING!

Anonymous said...

"Now just need to outfit those Officers with a nice, reliable inexpensive Glock, and get rid of those overpriced Sigs!"

If it isn't already as plain as the nose on your face why a DA/SA auto makes a better service sidearm for a patrol officer than does a striker-fired auto, then no one could possibly hope to explain it in a way that you could comprehend.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

"That stripe's been around for about 60 years of (sic) so."

That's nothing. My uniform hasn't changed in 1000's of years!

Eric said...

Will there be any changes to the dress uniform sometime down the road to coincide with the everyday uniform change (I assume there will)???

Randy 552 said...

PLEASE tell me you are ditching the clip on neckties as well.

Tom Casady said...

8:41 & Eric-

Links to some photos...

Anonymous said...

Chief,

Some of the reader comments on the relevant news articles at KOLN and LJS are incredibly dumb. I think some people watch too much TV, and live very sheltered lives. These are probably folks that leave swag in their unlocked cars, don't put their garage doors down, and wire money to secure their huge foreign sweepstakes winnings. Oh, and wire money to bail out their grandson in Canada.

Adam said...

exciting changes! I feel that the darker colors have more of a commanding presence versus the lighter blue of the older uniform.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of UNLPD, fall semester is here, foreshadowed by this common move-in-week manifestation:

UNL student observed to be covered in vomit and unable to stand. Resisted officers' efforts to place her into civil protective custody. Transported to Detox with .123 BAC on a poor sample.

Yes, it's August again, so expect the usual annual mewling from the lower-the-drinking-age crowd to be heard soon.

Anonymous said...

First paragraph - change "Loosing" to "Losing", before you are archived for posterity. Both are correctly spelled, but have distinctly different meanings. To put it another way, you are not going to loose the stripe; you're going to lose it.

mark said...

Chief- any idea why the stripe on the pants was originally there?

The reason I ask is that Tempe, AZ had it for years because the COP heard two officers after a day shift took off their shirts and went into a watering hole. SO the stripes were mandated making it harder for a stop after work :).

Over the years the officers hated them because 1) they looked funky and 2) if you washed them the stripes shrunk at a different rate than the pants and so they puckered.

New chief came in and out went the silver and light blue stripe :)

Zen said...

Anonymous 8:45- doesn't matter, UNLPD are licensed peace officers, not local security, and have arrest powers just like any other police officer.

Zen said...

Anonymous 12:31-Maybe if the newly minted 'adults' at UNL acted as such, they wouldn't need to be beat over the head with how stupid they are.

Eric said...

I think they look great!!!... even better then the LAPD uniforms which if I remember right were at one time years ago voted the best looking in the nation. It looks like a uniform made for the 21st century and I can't wait to be able to see one of these in person! But Chief, really, we need a higher resolution pic than what the LJS and 10/11 can offer. Can 'ya lend a hand? Also great to hear that you guys now have the cage to create the graphics for the cruisers. A great combination hitting the streets to represent Lincoln! Bravo!!!

Brian said...

Great new look, of both the uniform, and the patrol car! Personally, I liked the older style on the patrol car of the light blue front and back, with white in the middle. Here in Omaha, they are black on the front and back, with white in the middle. Anyway, change is good, and like the look!

JIM J said...

The new look also helps to blend in to the dark of night, and adds additional officer protection.

Anonymous said...

The uniforms could be much worse .