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Best Dressed Constables
Christiana Care Health System
One of the nation's largest, nonprofit healthcare providers, Christiana Care, serves the people of Delaware, as well as neighboring Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It operates two hospitals and an extensive range of outpatient and home health services. A system of this size must have a well-trained, highly visible public safety department, a task undertaken by Christiana's 50 uniformed officers. Such visibility also demands a professional look, and to accomplish this requirement, Christiana turned to local uniform dealer, Graves Uniforms.
Aside from its other duties, the public safety department handles more than 110,000 calls a year, which are received and dispatched from a 911 Center. Department members are commissioned by the state of Delaware as constables, are therefor given arrest and detention powers.
For many years, officers wore a tan shirt and dark brown trousers but were continuously being confused with another local agency. "They came to us looking for alternatives, so we got some samples together in various shades and fabrics, and took it from there," said Terry Havens, general manager for Graves. Through this collaborative effort, the department switched to new gray-and-black uniforms in the fall of 2005, and it selected Graves Uniforms, a full-service retailer located in historic Lewes, DE, to be its vendor. The trousers are black with a maroon stripe, complemented with a heather gray shirt and basket weave leather duty belt. During the winter, officers wear a mock turtleneck under their uniform shirt.
In addition to general patrol officers, the department employs three K-9 units and a bike patrol. Bike patrol member wear a yellow and black shirt with black BDU trousers or shorts. The K-9 officers wear a black shirt and tan BDUs. Other suppliers to this program include Flying Cross, Albourn Hat, Boston Leather, V.H. Blackinton and Propper.
Published in Law and Order, Oct 2006
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