POLICE & TACTICAL APPAREL KEEP EVOLVING WITH NEW FABRICS, MORE UTILITY.
By Paul Bubny
It’s safe to say that law enforcement personnel are going to continue being in the market for apparel indefinitely. It’s important to remember just how broad a term “police apparel” is: The uniformed patrolman is not going to be dressed identically to the crime scene investigator, although both see their paychecks issued by the same department.
Along with occupational differences in apparel requirements, there are also regional ones. A state trooper in, say, Georgia or New York is not going to be wearing the same peaked that and bowtie as his counterpart in Washington state-although perhaps he might wish he did, since Washington’s troopers were named America’s best dressed state law enforcement agency last fall by the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors. Vanity aside, a spiffier wardrobe can convey a more professional image, and command more respect from civilians, which is why police in Corpus Christi, TX and throughout the surrounding Nueces County are phasing in blue-on-blue uniforms over the next three years.
For more specialized, and active, applications, there’s the subcategory of tactical apparel. Designed exclusively for law enforcement, it is built to not only withstand, but thrive in the tough environments endured by tactical and SWAT officers. It is highly functional with many pockets for concealment and utility.
However, tactical apparel also is designed for comfort and rugged looks and can be worn as easily at the department, at a trade show or at home as on the range or in training.
Tactical and other classes of law enforcement clothing see a steady stream of product introductions and line extensions, with new fabrics and other innovations. Here’s a survey of what some of the major suppliers of police and tactical apparel have come up with in recent months, listed by company in alphabetical order:
Atlanco/Tru-Spec: Tru-Spec is the law enforcement/tactical division of this legacy army/ navy industry supplier firm. Their latest innovations are the 24/7 trousers, which transcend the tactical pant to offer suitability for both duty and casual wear. The 24/7 pant is described as “versatile enough for stakeout or desk duty, stylish enough for a night on the town.”
There trousers are manufactured from garment washed 100% cotton canvas for a clean, neat appearance and day-long comfort that also ensures against shrinkage and color fading. They are also designed with “Engineered Dimensional Fit” meaning that the length of the rise increase in proportion to the length of the inseam, resulting in a nearly perfect fit regardless of the wearer’s body style.
For the working law enforcement officer, the design of the 24/7 includes numerous pockets, hook-and-loop closures and shingle construction with inside openings for knee pads. The company will be introducing other tactical apparel items under the 24/7 banner at a later date.
Bullet 50: The Company’s new Ambush concealment jacket was designed by active law enforcement officers who still work daily in undercover operations and the streets themselves. The jacket was designed to meet the needs that undercover/off duty officers/operators and CCW permit carriers face each day: concealing handguns with the practicality to be able to deploy their weapon quickly and efficiently. “The jacket along with all its features still allows you to appear as wearing a normal jacket with style and design for the streets and blend in,” according to Bullet 50.
DuPont: Last summer, DuPont, familiar in law enforcement circles as the maker of Kevlar, introduced a new garment for corrections officers, Tychem QC for Corrections. Specifically designed for the corrections market and cell extraction, Tychem QC is intended to offer protection against the biohazards and viral contaminants potentially faced when working with prisoners.
According to DuPont, Tychem QC for Corrections has been tested against 70 different chemicals, and is engineered with fabric and seams that pass American Society for Testing and Materials guidelines for resistance to blood borne viruses.
Published in Ansom magazine