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5.11 Tactical Patrol Duty Uniform (PDU)

Written by Jennifer Gavigan

5.11 Tactical® realized its Tactical Duty Uniform was too “militaristic” for a general-issue police uniform. To that end, 5.11 introduced a uniform that provides an ideal combination of comfort, movement, utility and safety. The new Patrol Duty Uniform™ (PDU) blends functional innovation with the neat, clean, professional look that is essential to command staff and the public. 5.11 cites “18 Reasons to Choose the PDU.”

Made of durable 65/35 poly-cotton ripstop or twill, the fabric is Teflon® treated for stain and soil resistance. The breathable material is tough yet comfortable, while maintaining long-term fade resistance. For added convenience, the economical wash-and-wear fabric comes out of the dryer ready to wear, saving officers time and money.

Officers from around the country were directly involved in the PDU’s product development. Among their requests were an expandable comfort waist, and for the women’s version, a natural waistline. Female officers usually wear tailored men’s uniforms and need their duty belts to rest at a more natural position to draw their weapons from a safe height.

The officers wanted something else not normally found on uniforms: bi-swing shoulders for enhanced freedom of movement. In addition, they asked for a diamond-gusseted crotch. The diamond crotch makes the garment more durable as it is not under as much stress. It was rated much better than the traditional style crotch. The pants can last longer without the seams breaking which is good news for officers who are getting in and out of the car all day long, climbing over fences, and using a knee to handcuff someone.

The PDU shirts feature a mic-cord pass-through just above the duty belt for use with the radio and ear piece. Also included are 5.11’s Hidden Document Pockets (Class B), pen slots, a button-covered placket with YKK® zipper, epaulets, underarm vents and adjustable wrist cuffs. The armpit vents are new to the PDU and allow for even more breathability in hot climates or under extreme stress. The pants feature flat-front styling, permanent creases and a flashlight pocket on the back of the leg on the Class B pants. The Class A pants have a hidden zipper side-seam pocket, while the Class B pants include large double-entry cargo pockets and a secure “covert” pocket.

5.11 offers Class A & B Patrol Duty Uniform shirts and pants in two styles. With separate sizing, design and construction for men and women, 5.11 PDUs provide one of the broadest size offerings in the uniform market today. Special odd waist sizes of 31, 33 and 35 are available for men, and the women’s uniforms come in “misses” and “plus” sizes. The Patrol Duty Uniform blends the function of a tactical uniform with the look of a formal uniform. The PDU shirts and pants are competitively priced at $49.99.

According to Kelsie Costa, public relations and advertising manager for 5.11, a total of 163 departments representing 52,756 officers are signed up for the wear tests. Departments started testing the uniform in late spring. They became available in March 2010 through local 5.11 dealers. 5.11 invites departments everywhere to wear-test the new PDU for free. Product quantities are limited. Sign up today at www.511tactical.com/pdu.html to see what makes the 5.11 PDU different from the rest.

Jennifer Gavigan is the editor of Public Safety IT and a frequent contributor to LAW and ORDER. She can be reached at jgavigan@hendonpbub.com.

Published in Law and Order, May 2010

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