Ideal Patrol Uniform & Gear Setup

Joe _K

Established
#1
Since 9/11 we have seen the continual evolution and improvement, (at least in theory anyway), of the U.S. and allied military uniforms and worn-equipment.

In a perfect world free from the stigma of looking like a military force, city councilman’s bitches, moans, and complaints, what would the ideal Patrol Officer/ Sheriff Deputies uniform and gear setup look like in 2018?

* Full disclosure not LE, prior USMC, current uniformed Security, (think TSA with guns)*

The following would be my proposal.



Shoes to Hat:

- Duty grade footwear of individual choice, must be durable, provide good support, and be comfortable.

- Crye or similar Pant, front thigh cargo pockets, gusseted crotch, articulated knees, adjustable +/- 2” waist band.

- Volund Gear Works or similar MOLLE Duty Belt.
- Cry or similar Combat/Duty shirt, sleeve pockets, mandarin collar, 1/4 zip.

- Low viz external carrier with side soft armor and threat specific front/rear armor, (ideally a sub 5 lb stand alone “Level III +” plates worn on duty since sometimes the rifle fight picks you.

- Flex fit ball cap.

Other improvements/changes

- Move to celular phone based comms.

Thoughts? Input? Is this a terrible idea? Why?




“Don’t go slow, be careful” - Jedi
 
#2
Not Mil/LE either

My first thought is I would hate to see an officer wearing a carrier like that. For police in the US the overwhelming majority of firearms threats they face are pistols. Plate carriers minimize coverage to where plates would be, for police use a concealment cut would be a much better option because of the increased coverage. I really like the Velocity LPAC if in a good "police" color like Navy or the tan TX highway patrol uses would be nice. It has the ability to insert plates without having to take the carrier off and allows for use of the Velocity Swiftclips. Normally I'm against really small chest rigs, but for police use when only one or two rifle mags are needed something like the Spiritus systems micro rig would be enough. Additionally there is peer reviewed research saying that people and police interact differently, and not positively, when they feel intimidated by police. Black exacerbates that phenomenon.
 

Joe _K

Established
#3
Not Mil/LE either

My first thought is I would hate to see an officer wearing a carrier like that. For police in the US the overwhelming majority of firearms threats they face are pistols. Plate carriers minimize coverage to where plates would be, for police use a concealment cut would be a much better option because of the increased coverage. I really like the Velocity LPAC if in a good "police" color like Navy or the tan TX highway patrol uses would be nice. It has the ability to insert plates without having to take the carrier off and allows for use of the Velocity Swiftclips. Normally I'm against really small chest rigs, but for police use when only one or two rifle mags are needed something like the Spiritus systems micro rig would be enough. Additionally there is peer reviewed research saying that people and police interact differently, and not positively, when they feel intimidated by police. Black exacerbates that phenomenon.
Why would you hate to see an officer wearing a carrier like that? I’m doing my best trying not to read between any lines here.

Is there a truly need to provide coverage outside of where a plate would be? I understand why Pistol rated armor has and is worn by LE, but if the vitals can be covered by a plate of appropriate size why go for larger?

I think the LPAC would be a great option, but I haven’t seen any carrier though that allows plates to be inserted into the rear of the carrier without removal of the vest unless a buddy is involved. Swift clip placards would be a great way to carry extra gear specific to an active shooter or mass casualty incident.

But if a rant here, but I’m not a fan at all of taking patrol vest off putting tactical vest or plate carrier on, or having to take the worn vest off and add plates then re don the one vest. Run to the sounds of gunfire with what you have on. If you can grab a rifle and a placard, sling up, and hook the placard while sprinting in I’m all about it. But I’d be damned letting kids die so I can add or subtract gear.

Where I live Blue and Black seems to be the prevailing uniform colors of choice, I am biased towards Ranger or Sage Green personally, I hadn’t considered public perception into this at all, just Officer survivability for 99% of gunfights, and comfort for 12+ hour shifts.

Personally I believe people predisposed towards negative feelings about their interactions with LEO’s as well as how an officer carries himself and speaks has far more to do with how good or bad an interaction between a citizen and an officer will go than what color or type of uniform the officer is wearing, but that might just be me.


“Don’t go slow, be careful” - Jedi
 
#4
Plates are designed to still allow as much movement is as practical. They are small enough not to interfere with anything that has to bend or flex. A good comparison is Indian "four mirror" armor which had four steel plates over a chainmail tunic. Even if only a small amount of hits were in the areas not covered by plates the flexible nature of woven soft armor means there is little reason not to have a larger coverage zone. If in this thought experiment a back plate and having gear or equipment quickly don able is important there are carriers that accommodate that. The first spear first on, GGG minimalist, and velocity LEPC are some that come to mind. These can be donned quickly, and in my experience, you can get a minimalist on in a car without unbuckleing your seat belt.
 

Joe _K

Established
#5
Plates are designed to still allow as much movement is as practical. They are small enough not to interfere with anything that has to bend or flex. A good comparison is Indian "four mirror" armor which had four steel plates over a chainmail tunic. Even if only a small amount of hits were in the areas not covered by plates the flexible nature of woven soft armor means there is little reason not to have a larger coverage zone. If in this thought experiment a back plate and having gear or equipment quickly don able is important there are carriers that accommodate that. The first spear first on, GGG minimalist, and velocity LEPC are some that come to mind. These can be donned quickly, and in my experience, you can get a minimalist on in a car without unbuckleing your seat belt.
What about a cut of armor that has soft armor in all the areas normally worn currently by LE, but in the critical areas front and back had a stand alone plate with no soft armor behind it to minimize bulk and weight? The weight and cost penalty would be there 100% of the time for something that might be less than a 1% risk, but in my mind LE carries redundant low% risk equipment, 3-4 Pistol magazines, 2 sets of cuffs, 3 separate types of less lethal tools as it stands currently.

Could weight not be saved elsewhere to make up for the increase in weight? Lighter pouches, belt, cuffs, baton, 1 fewer pistol reload, moving to a cell phone com system instead of bulky and heavy radios, lighter uniforms etc.


“Don’t go slow, be careful” - Jedi
 
#6
Soft armor here, hard armor there. You create seams which are failure points. Complete coverage soft armor with ICW plates is probably the best solution for general policing.

I’m having a hard time with this thread. You’ve spec’d out the potential for a well over $500 uniform it for a street cop (yeah, I get that’s at retail rate). This says nothing of issuing 2-4 uniforms per cop. They don’t anythjng appreciably better than the Blauer Street Guard uniform does at a fraction of the cost. You say you’re not LE but are proposing an “ideal uniform” for police. I think this goes against the whole P&S principle of staying in your lane.

I am LE but I dare not say that the entire US Army needs Crye Combat uniforms or Opscore high cut helmets. We carry reduntant low risk equipment for a reason. They are all tools that we need to have with us when we need them and not somewhere else. One less lethal device does not solve all problems. Some may in fact be the wrong tool for a situation.

Appearance does matter. The street cop does not need the same appearance as a soldier patrolling a bazaar in a far off land.

Color does matter. I’ve seen people steer clear of the K9 handler in green and instead approach the K9 handler in blue. They’re actuall gear was identical except for color.

I’ve written a response to this thread like 4 different times before posting because I want to make sure the delivery comes off correctly. But honestly, this really just sounds like someone on the outside making a tier 1 wishlist for a job they admit they do not have.
 

Joe _K

Established
#7
Soft armor here, hard armor there. You create seams which are failure points. Complete coverage soft armor with ICW plates is probably the best solution for general policing.

I’m having a hard time with this thread. You’ve spec’d out the potential for a well over $500 uniform it for a street cop (yeah, I get that’s at retail rate). This says nothing of issuing 2-4 uniforms per cop. They don’t anythjng appreciably better than the Blauer Street Guard uniform does at a fraction of the cost. You say you’re not LE but are proposing an “ideal uniform” for police. I think this goes against the whole P&S principle of staying in your lane.

I am LE but I dare not say that the entire US Army needs Crye Combat uniforms or Opscore high cut helmets. We carry reduntant low risk equipment for a reason. They are all tools that we need to have with us when we need them and not somewhere else. One less lethal device does not solve all problems. Some may in fact be the wrong tool for a situation.

Appearance does matter. The street cop does not need the same appearance as a soldier patrolling a bazaar in a far off land.

Color does matter. I’ve seen people steer clear of the K9 handler in green and instead approach the K9 handler in blue. They’re actuall gear was identical except for color.

I’ve written a response to this thread like 4 different times before posting because I want to make sure the delivery comes off correctly. But honestly, this really just sounds like someone on the outside making a tier 1 wishlist for a job they admit they do not have.

Armor gaps aren’t cool, the ICW would be a better way to accomplish the goal of having an always worn rifle threat protection.

I’m not knocking the redundant carry of-less lethal tools.

Your point is taken on staying in my lane, my post is intended to get peoples minds thinking of ways in which the average law-enforcement officers uniform could be made better in terms of protection utility, and comfort. Cost was not a consideration, advancements will always cost more money. Putting a red dot on every officers sidearm cost money, buying patrol rifles, suppressors, additional training in their usage all cost money. If you broke down the costs of all current average issue uniform items, then tried to improve on them it will cost money. Does it need to be Crye quality stuff? Probably not, these were simply internet souced pictures of gear that fit with, in my mind, improvements to the uniform.

There are lots of Marines and soldiers that spend their hard earned money on better than issued gear and equipment to make their lives easier or more effective on deployment, just as many of the Law Enforcement friends of mine make personal department approved purchases for gear and equipment to make their long shifts easier, or to allow them to be more effective at given tasks.

And while there are large differences between the Military and domestic LE, that doesn’t meant that there aren’t overlap. A Marine making a recommendation on comfortable socks or footwear for long hours on your feet in a hot environment could apply to many different people from many walks of life.

If a uniform item is demonstrably more comfortable, durable, provides better utility, and does not look so out of the ordinary as to appear intimidating to the general population then why the hesitation on adopting modern advancements in textiles, uniform items, or weapons?

The examples of uniforms shown could easily be procured in different colors.

If you compare uniforms of law enforcement officers of days gone by, if anything patrol uniforms used to look very similar to Military class A or B uniforms. The Sam Brown belt was a Military belt before it became a staple of the LE uniform. I don’t think anyone wants to see American law enforcement appear visually as an invading military force, I do understand that there is a difference between what a Marine would wear in a combat zone to what the patrol cop needs to wear in the average American town or city.

I do not have the same duties or responsibilities as sworn LE, but I do, and have worn duty equipment, and work in the public eye while doing so.




“Don’t go slow, be careful” - Jedi
 
#8
It's an interesting hypothetical to pose. I took the original post to mean "By what means are available today, how can the uniform and equipment of the modern patrol officer be improved?" Not coming from an LE background myself, I've still passed patrol officers on the road wearing the traditional style of uniform, meaning pressed shirt and uniform pants, glossy gear, and wondered how functional it would be in a worst-case scenario. So, coming from a USMC Security Forces standpoint like Joe, we would often wear what would be similar to that traditional style of uniform (Class Cs or Ds), soft armor, and glossy gear. While it serves a purpose, it does admittingly have shortcomings as far as function and utility (and for that matter, comfort) are concerned.
I believe the NYPD is probably the best example of combining the traditional "look" with functionality and comfort:
NYPD1.jpg
NYPD2.jpg
Just for comparison sake:
NYPD3.jpg
To me, the elements of the uniform make sense for the purposes and intent of a patrol officer. It still retains the professional appearance of the traditional uniform while giving the officer pockets and making it baggier to better conceal soft armor, warming layers, or allow air circulation for when it's warmer.
Not personally a fan of visible armor for the purposes of the individual officer. To me, soft armor is like a concealed pistol- I don't want someone to know I have it and be able to assess its weaknesses. Like Left of Bang says, most people are unaware of their general surroundings, and I've had people come up to me in (Marine) uniform and ask "Why the Marines looked so fat?", unaware there was soft armor under our uniforms. In the case of a bad guy, I wouldn't want them to be able to assess the areas I do or do not have protection. Then you have the case like what Marines in Fallujah encountered when they stumbled across diagrams the Mujihadeen sketched showing the weak points of the Interceptor vest.
Anyhow, once again, I think the pictures of the NYPD above are probably the best functional solution to equipping the modern patrol officer with individual gear that is both professional and utilitarian.
By the way Joe, is that a P2000 in the duty holster?
 

SmElly

Regular Member
#9
Soft armor here, hard armor there. You create seams which are failure points. Complete coverage soft armor with ICW plates is probably the best solution for general policing.

I’m having a hard time with this thread. You’ve spec’d out the potential for a well over $500 uniform it for a street cop (yeah, I get that’s at retail rate). This says nothing of issuing 2-4 uniforms per cop. They don’t anythjng appreciably better than the Blauer Street Guard uniform does at a fraction of the cost. You say you’re not LE but are proposing an “ideal uniform” for police. I think this goes against the whole P&S principle of staying in your lane.

I am LE but I dare not say that the entire US Army needs Crye Combat uniforms or Opscore high cut helmets. We carry reduntant low risk equipment for a reason. They are all tools that we need to have with us when we need them and not somewhere else. One less lethal device does not solve all problems. Some may in fact be the wrong tool for a situation.

Appearance does matter. The street cop does not need the same appearance as a soldier patrolling a bazaar in a far off land.

Color does matter. I’ve seen people steer clear of the K9 handler in green and instead approach the K9 handler in blue. They’re actuall gear was identical except for color.

I’ve written a response to this thread like 4 different times before posting because I want to make sure the delivery comes off correctly. But honestly, this really just sounds like someone on the outside making a tier 1 wishlist for a job they admit they do not have.
I didnt realize you had to me LE/MIL to create discussion about LE/MIL

I'd be willing to bet this thread will generate some discussion/input from the various professionals that this forum has to offer, thus providing education. Isnt that the point? To learn?
 
#11
I didnt realize you had to me LE/MIL to create discussion about LE/MIL

I'd be willing to bet this thread will generate some discussion/input from the various professionals that this forum has to offer, thus providing education. Isnt that the point? To learn?
It appeared to me that the OP was putting forth a suggested uniforms and gear for police without having any police experience. You don't have to be MIL/LE to start a discussion but putting forth a suggestion without the experience as a frame of reference is highly suspect. Thats my point. If he had just asked "why don't police have xyz?" this thread would have gone a while different direction.
 

Joe _K

Established
#12


If it’s public perception we’re after in law enforcement uniforms, some of these are...interesting.


“Don’t go slow, be careful” - Jedi
 

Joe _K

Established
#13
... In a perfect world free from the stigma of looking like a military force, city councilman’s bitches, moans, and complaints, what would the ideal Patrol Officer/ Sheriff Deputies uniform and gear setup look like in 2018?...

The following would be my proposal....

Thoughts? Input? Is this a terrible idea? Why?
My original post edited to show my intent clearly and succinctly.
 
#14
If you're going to through Rhode Island State Police up there (4th from the bottom) then 2 things:

1. That particular photo is 20 years old.
2. There is a particular pride in that uniform of which nothing is going to change it.
 
#15
My original post edited to show my intent clearly and succinctly.
Good deal.

There are a number of agencies going toward a more modern, functional uniform. I was highly suspect when we made the transition but I'm very happy I did. In domestic LE, appearance is always gonna be a thing so there is a need to have a functional but professional uniform appearance. Special units (K9, SWAT, etc) can roll with a mandarin collared shirt all day long but general patrol has a need for a traditional collar under the exterior armor.

I have T&E'd several flavors or pants, shirts and jackets and own a bunch of other styles (including the Crye model you have above). They are great pants. However, for general use, Blauer and even 5.11 have better offerings. The pocket design and non ripstop material is more functional and adds to the professional appearance.

The Volund Belt is neat. A couple buddies have them so i've given them a test run. They really don't do anything better for the patrol officer than an Uncle Mike's belt. That might be heresy to say but hands on time tells me that. The only upgrade I have made to my Uncle Mike's was to add a polymer Cobra Buckle.

Armor wise, discussed above. Full coverage with ICW plates. There are several carriers that are both more functional and better looking that can accommodate that setup. That is how my daily armor is setup.

I'm not a comms guy but good radios are getting smaller. The heaviest part are the batteries. Both cell and radio systems can fail due to user volume but at least on a radio system there are a finite number of users to tell to get off the air.
 
#16
Man I wish I had more time to type on this, because all this is near and dear to my heart... Maybe I will later. For now, I just wanna say, very few dudes can pull off lookin' good in a campaign hat. I'm not one of 'em that can (*sigh* - my agency issues them for use with class A's and it looks like a total clown show). There's a whole lotta douchebaggery goin' on up there in those pics tho. The good thing is that campaign hats and clip on ties create an invisible force field of authority and respect, so that's cool (pfffff...in retrospect, that may have actually been true for my DIs 20 years or so ago...or as a kid when I looked up at my Grandpa when he rocked them and an S&W Model 19 in the 80's...). Anyway, yeah, we gotta change the uniform situation. Tradition is one thing, functionality another. There's a time and place for both. I didn't wear dress blues in Fallujah. "But this is isn't Iraq!" and " Police militarization! " Ughhh... I can't... no time...
 

Ben H

Member
Network Support I
#17
External Vest Carriers with molle (for soft body armor) is the trend that is thankfully catching on. Reducing the weight AND bulk on your hips is a tremendous help for back and hip issues... especially if you have a smaller waist. Most all the gear you have pictured on the belt in OP finds a place along the vest.
 

Joe _K

Established
#18
External Vest Carriers with molle (for soft body armor) is the trend that is thankfully catching on. Reducing the weight AND bulk on your hips is a tremendous help for back and hip issues... especially if you have a smaller waist. Most all the gear you have pictured on the belt in OP finds a place along the vest.
So in the event rifle and rifle armor need to be worn, outer carrier comes off along with almost all your day in day out gear and a plate carrier is thrown on, rifle grabbed and go find work?
 

Ben H

Member
Network Support I
#19
So in the event rifle and rifle armor need to be worn, outer carrier comes off along with almost all your day in day out gear and a plate carrier is thrown on, rifle grabbed and go find work?
Essentially yes,

99% of the job is something other than calls for suspect armed with a rifle. The armed suspect calls are usually a suspect armed with a pistol, in which case I grab my rifle, but have no need to switch out to rifle protection.

VERY few agencies purchase rifle armor for patrol officers, and the amount of patrol cops who have purchased it on their own is also greatly in the minority. Its getting more prevalent, but definitely in the minority. So pretty much if a patrol guy has a plate carrier setup, it was purchased on his own dime, which means he is switched on and hopefully has enough forethought to have it set up with what he would need on a "suspect armed with a rifle" call. The only thing I have to take off my vest is my radio. Even if all a guy had on the plate carrier were rifle mags, he could stuff whatever else he wanted to take (flashlight, pistol mags, handcuffs, Med pack) into a back pocket or cargo pocket while driving to the call.
 

Joe _K

Established
#20
I get that 99% of calls do not involve a rifle, but IF rifle armor could be worn for the same weight/comfort penalty as soft armor, would you wear it?

I know stuff can be switched out while driving to a call, I know it would cost more money, I know it might only save 1,2, or 3 cops lives a decade, but what would it do for response time for an active shooter and more importantly, (to me), how many innocent lives might it save if the only thing an officer has to do is get out of the patrol car, grab the rifle and go?