How important is a uniform to police work? Consider the following scenario: You’ve just been the victim of a home invasion and have notified the police. You hear a knock at the door, and the persons at the other side identify themselves as police officers. Looking through the peephole, you notice two people in everyday street wear. They say they are officers, but can you be certain?
Uniforms serve not only to identify the wearer, but in the above case and others, they work to allay fears, comfort and assure the public in times of crisis. “A well-dressed officer will also command respect, for he or she will be viewed as a professional, a voice of authority,” said Dan Donahue, chairman of the NAUMD public safety committee. “Uniforms, therefore, are an integral part of police work, and calling attention to the importance of uniforms is the driving force behind this competition.”
The entrants in the 2006 Best Dressed Law Enforcement Awards are keenly aware of these facts. So too, is the program’s sponsor, the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD). For 29 years, NAUMD, whose members manufacturer and distribute many of the nation’s finest police garments and uniform accessories, has had the honor of viewing some of the best-dressed law enforcement officers in the country.
“We are proud to recognize excellence in design, function and service in uniforms and accessories for America’s law enforcement professionals by NAUMD’s members,” NAUMD Executive Director Richard Lerman said. “Now, more than ever, the quick and positive identification of officers is key to the public feeling more secure in these dangerous times. Having law enforcement personnel feel both proud of and comfortable in their uniforms goes a long way in building positive morale so that they can perform at the highest level.”
The NAUMD judges review each department’s professional appearance and uniform diversity, paying close attention to detail and written standards. Written standards provide every officer instruction for a “uniform” look to be presented. Because 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 important, can the public immediately identify the wearer as a professional, law enforcement officer?
In the opinion of the judges, the departments featured on the following pages far exceeded expectations. To find out if your department can achieve a winning look, or for information on the NAUMD or any of the uniform suppliers listed in this article, call the association at (212) 869-0670, or visit www.naumd.com
NAUMD is proud to present the 2006 Best Dressed Law Enforcement winners!
Jackie Rosselli has 20 years of experience writing about issues affecting the uniform industry. She is currently a freelance writer. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.