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NAUMD Names Best Dressed Departments

Written by Jennifer Gavigan

The North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers & Distributors (NAUMD) released the winners of its annual Best Dressed Public Safety Competition, a program that calls attention to the important role uniforms play in law enforcement and public safety.

Winners were named at an awards banquet for the honorees, one of many events occurring during the association’s annual convention in Las Vegas.

On the surface, uniforms appear very similar, decidedly consistent and standard in overall appearance, but to the countless departments who have entered the NAUMD’s Best Dressed Public Safety Competition, uniforms have a greater meaning and purpose. “Uniforms have a powerful impact on how employees are perceived, and this is particularly true in law enforcement and public safety,” said Richard Lerman, NAUMD president.

“Law enforcement uniforms are a symbol of power and authority; the right look can allay fear and bolster public confidence, aiding the officer in his or her work. A poor or sloppy appearance can have the opposite effect, and may leave a negative impression in the public’s mind.” “A smart-looking, well-tailored uniform is one key ingredient to the success of any public safety department,” added Dan Donahue, NAUMD’s public safety committee chairman. “This year’s winners have worked hard to ensure they have the best uniforms to meet their specific needs, and we’re proud to recognize their achievements.”

Now in its 34th year, the Best Dressed Public Safety 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.

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? 

WINNER
Under 50 Officers
Galls for Mint Hill, N.C. Police Department


The Mint Hill, N.C. PD uses the “Fechheimer” line of uniforms and according to Chief Tim Ledford, they have been pleased with the comfort, style and durability of their product. Ledford orders through Galls Uniform and has been “extremely pleased with the service and quality of this distributor. If any issues arise, Galls has been very quick to respond and correct any problems. To me, this is an important aspect I look for when choosing a vendor.”

In addition, Ledford said from order date until product delivery, shipping is very quick. “When outfitting new officers, time is of the essence and I cannot be detained waiting for uniforms and equipment to arrive,” Ledford stated.

To encourage well-dressed police officers, Mint Hill PD provides uniforms at no cost to the officer. They also implemented a policy to govern uniform wear. Their standard uniform wear has been received well by the community and leaders. Mint Hill wants to continue to present a professional image within the community with its citizens and other law enforcement agencies.

WINNER
Under 100 Officers
Red the Uniform Tailor for Manchester Township, N.J. Police


The men and women who don the blue and gray uniform of the Manchester Township, N.J. Police Department are charged with providing the highest degree of service and protection to the citizens of their community, and those who visit. Their jurisdiction covers an area approximately 82 square miles of state highways, county routes and municipal streets. They are located to the southeast of the U.S. Army Installation Ft. Dix, N.J., and south of the US Naval Base Lakehurst, N.J. Lakehurst NAS, the site of the famed Hindenberg Zeppelin crash.

With the innovation of the new department, many changes were forthcoming under new leadership. The uniform is from Red the Uniform Tailor and was changed from the traditional blues and cap type, to the gray and blue uniform with a Stetson hat. The Manchester patches symbolize what each officer of the department should represent: Handshake depicting the brotherhood of all mankind, Courage and Strength of Mind, to Administer Justice and Fairness to all.

WINNER
Under 200 Officers
Uniform Den for Evanston, Ill. Police Department


Officers of the Evanston, Ill. Police Department wear uniforms from Uniform Den. The department is committed to a partnership with the Evanston community, serving it professionally and lawfully. All members of the department strive to enhance this partnership with the community and to solve problems as part of his or her daily tasks, recognizing that maintenance of the highest standards of ethics and integrity is imperative for the continued improvement of local policing in Evanston. The Evanston Police Department is committed to fostering values that serve a diverse population and its needs.

WINNER
Over 200 Officers
Galls for Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission


The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission officers wear Galls uniforms. They respond to natural and manmade disasters and search and rescue missions. Specialized response units are equipped to operate by air, land and sea. The division is a partner in Florida’s Mutual Aid Plan, administered by the Department of Community Affairs. The division works with other law enforcement agencies to provide intelligence and security support, general law enforcement services, and critical incident investigations.

Mission Statement: Protecting Florida’s natural resources and people through proactive and responsive law enforcement services. Vision: To be recognized as the leading conservation law enforcement agency in the nation, set apart by strategic vision, clear missions, strong leadership and a professional officer corps. Motto: Patrol, Protect, Preserve

WINNER
Fire/EMS Department
Uniform House for Indianapolis EMS


The Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services is a new division of the City of Indianapolis Department of Public Safety. Indianapolis EMS was formed to continue and advance high-quality EMS care and create efficiencies for EMS in Marion County.

Indianapolis EMS partners with the family-run, locally owned Uniform House to provide the fitting, purchasing, design guidance and inventory maintenance for all uniform items. The Indianapolis EMS uniform is one that provides a professional and distinctive appearance that works to promote a positive image of the city's premier EMS public safety agency, all while utilizing a durable, cost-effective design using embroidered, visually appealing logos, standard and recognizable rank insignia, and stain-resistant and easy-to-clean fabrics. The uniforms have helped Indianapolis EMS to establish a cohesive, professional brand that will continue to promote recognition of their life-saving services for years to come.

WINNER
Specialized Agency
Galls for Dunbar Armor


For more than 85 years, the Dunbar family has been providing solutions for the ever-expanding security needs of businesses, earning the reputation as The Most Trusted Name in Security®. Since inception, an unwavering commitment to the strongest security practices and professional standards has been the backbone of their operating procedures. They take great pride on the diligent focus that every one of our security professionals puts forth to ensure that these proven practices are followed every day, all while wearing Galls uniforms.

Published in Law and Order, May 2012

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