Toledo, OH Police Department
“I admire this department because they demand a quality uniform and are willing to do what is necessary to achieve their goal,” said Bill Darah, whose company, Toledo’s Superior Uniform Sales, worked with TPD on the winning design. “They stick to specifications, and they enforce those specifications.”
“A smart-looking, well-tailored uniform is one key ingredient to the success of any police officer,” added Chief Mike Navarre when he learned of his department’s honor. “At TPD, we’ve always worked hard on our uniform specifications to ensure our officers have the best uniforms to meet their specific needs.”
A quick glance at their program illustrates the above point. The 700-member department has a summer and winter uniform, as well as specialized wear for its honor guard, bike and mounted patrols, and K-9 units. Toledo’s everyday look consists of a navy cargo trouser, medium blue shirt, black tie and a Pershing or baseball-styled hat. Outerwear, when worn, is also navy. Those at or above the rank of lieutenant are distinguished by a crisp, white shirt.
Manufacturers who worked on the program include Elbeco, Fechheimer, Blauer, Smith and Warren and Taylor Leatherwear.
“We like the variety and comfort of our uniforms,” said Sergeant Richard Murphy, public information officer. “From our new cargo trousers, to polo shirts for the bike patrol to the breeches for the mounted patrol, our officers have always been easily recognized in the community. We are proud to be further honored and gain national recognition as one of the best-dressed departments in the country.”
Tulsa, OK Police Department
From its inception in 1905, Tulsa PD officers wore a dark blue wool uniform that was common to all metro departments of the time. In 1952, however, the department switched to green shirts and “army pink” pants, mimicking the look of the U.S. army circa World War II. Until recently, it has been the only uniform most of the department’s 800-plus members have known.
In 2004, Chief Dave Been approved a proposal to transition all officers back to the traditional dark blue wool uniforms. “In making the change to a 100% wool navy uniform, Tulsa focused on quality, comfort and durability,” said Fred Heldman, senior vice president of Fechheimer, whose company manufactures the uniforms and some of its outerwear. “The result has been higher morale and a sharp-looking, well-groomed appearance.”
“We chose a great uniform, one with a long tradition,” added Officer Will Dalsing, charged with the program’s implementation. The classic outfits are worn with a modified Pershing Stratton hat, highly polished black shoes, black ties and Clarino belts. A new patch is part of the redesign. Gone is the “Yield” sign, a symbol familiar to area residents; in its place, an emblem that depicts the skyline of downtown Tulsa. Officers proudly wear the patch on both shoulders of the uniform. “We take our appearance seriously,” Captain Travis Yates commented when asked for his reasons behind entering the best-dressed competition. “It was important to get the opinion of an outside organization.” Additional suppliers to this program include Spiewak, Blauer and Safariland.