TOLEDO (WTOL) - They’ve lip-synced for you. They’ve brought a police cat into their ranks. They’re planning an ice cream truck. Now, to top it off, they’ll be doing all that while being the best-dressed officers in the nation, according to a uniform sales supplier group.
The Toledo Police Department was one of four departments to top the list of the North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers & Distributors ’s annual Best Dressed Public Safety Award Competition, a program that calls attention to the important role uniforms play in law enforcement and public safety.
The award celebrates the law enforcement departments, first responders and uniform suppliers that go the extra mile to create versatile, functional and stylish uniforms that represent public safety professionals. It is the second time Toledo took home the top prize; the department also won a best dressed nod in 2006.
TPD uses four types of uniforms. The first is the dress uniform, comprising a navy, long-sleeve polyester Elbeco shirt paired with a black Samuel Broome tie and navy Flying Cross trousers. A navy blue Flying Cross blouse coat with gold or silver buttons (depending on rank) and a Pershing-style cap complete the ensemble.
Next is the department’s everyday work uniform, which consists of navy blue short and long-sleeve Elbeco shirts and external cargo pants by Flying Cross.
TPD’s specialty units include SWAT, K-9, Training, Gang, and Bike Patrol. SWAT, K-9, and Gang teams wear Blauer tops with mini ripstop pants by Flying Cross.
The Training Academy members are distinguished by embroidered, tactical polos by 5.11. Bike Patrol officers wear Blauer tops with versatile zip-off pants and shorts.
Lastly, TPD’s Honor Guard uniform consists of a Flying Cross dress coat with special royal blue and black double braids sewn onto each sleeve.
“The department strongly believes that looking sharp in their uniforms gives officers confidence, promotes pride, and is positively received by the public, “ said Alyssa Darah of Superior Uniform Sales, a Toledo-based distributor that supplied the award-winning look.
“Uniforms have a powerful impact on how employees are perceived, and this is particularly true in law enforcement and public safety,” added Steve Zalkin, NAUMD president. “In law enforcement, a visible, uniformed public safety presence on the street, at a mall or other institution can add a sense of security and help comfort the public or allay fears.”
Judges review each department’s professional appearance and uniform diversity, paying close attention to detail and written standards. Since many officers have specific assignments and patrol details, there are many factors to consider, including the following: Does the uniform fit the job function? Is the appearance neat and do the garments fit properly? Most importantly, can the public immediately identify the wearer as a professional law enforcement officer?
Now in its 41th year, the Best Dressed Public Safety Award® Competition is open to departments across North America. Entries are solicited throughout fall and winter, and winners are announced at the NAUMD’s annual convention each spring. All winning departments and their suppliers receive plaques.