Of course, there are other things to consider when a police department is choosing what its officers will wear, things such as cost, maneuverability, comfort and so on. But image ought to be part of that conversation, too.
Here, for example, is a U.S. police department that gets it:
The Logan County Sheriff’s Office announced on Saturday (June 6) that it would be changing uniforms for deputies to save money and present a “less militant” appearance.Over the next few weeks, the office is transitioning from their current uniform to one that consists of an oxford shirt (white for day shift and black for night shift) and Levis/Wranglers jeans (or khakis).
There have been a few similar experiments over the years at U.S. police agencies. Most of them didn’t last long. I don’t think there’s much of a problem with the traditional police blues (or the brown worn by sheriff’s deputies). But with many departments moving to all-black, to battle dress uniforms and to a generally more militaristic look, perhaps the time is right to start talking more about law enforcement uniforms — about how they affect both the psychology of officers, and the image they project to the surrounding community.