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American COP Sept/Oct 2010 - Page 40
Gear Y Duty Uniform Can Bad Clothes kill yoU? eah, I know, it’s boring, so get over it. But we could have just as well called this an “Officer Survival” column — so read on. The right clothing can make a huge difference in not only your comfort through your shift but also your fatigue level. Fatigue is a killer — and can keep you from maintaining the level of alertness and diligence necessary for you to go home in relatively the same condition in which you went to work. Depending on the size of your department, uniforms are often selected by a committee. Have you ever seen the drawing of the horse designed by committee? If you have, you wouldn’t even recognize it as a horse. The same thing goes for uniforms. Tradition is a major driving factor in uniform selection. Color, cut, epaulets, sleeves and pockets all have some root in the traditional cop uniform. Comfort and utility come in a distant second. But, there are offerings out there able to accommodate tradition, comfort and utility, yet still maintain an acceptable level of professionalism and command presence. And don’t forget boots. There’s no reason on earth you should be working with sore feet. Boots today are made for the job a patrol cop performs. Some are more like an athletic cross-trainer shoe than a traditional boot to take advantage of this technology. Yeah, I said boot and technology in the same sentence. 5.11 Tactical Let’s take a look at 5.11’s Patrol Duty Uniform. The shirts are a 5.8-oz. Teflon treated 65/35 polyester-cotton blend twill. Pants in the same material are 7.2 oz. twill. Sure anybody with a sewing machine can do that, but in 5.11’s case they went to patrol cops and asked what they wanted and needed in a patrol uniform. Here are a few features they incorporated into the uniform: Epaulets to hang a radio mike, bi-swing shoulders, hidden document pocket, YKK Zipper front, pen pockets, armpit vents, waist level mike cord pass through, adjustable cuffs, comfort adjustable waist, flashlight pocket, flat front, cargo pockets and lots more. The uniform is infused with DuPont’s Teflon for stain resistance. You have to take a look at the Web-Blast video on our website to see just how stain resistant it really is — you’ll be impressed. Haix Haix expanded to the US from Germany, with a factory in Lexington, Ky. CEO Ewald Haimerl was a master boot maker and also a firefighter. One of their top sellers is a boot designed and constructed exclusively for Germany’s legendary tactical unit, the GSG 9. It’s still available, but the one I like is the new Airpower P7 High. It’s available in about every size, including women’s, made with breathable Gor-Tex and it’s waterproof and chemical resistant. So far so good, but the boot is ultra comfortable too. It has the Haix Arch Support System and their heal bend system. The interior is anatomically formed and the footpad insert can be quickly changed out or laundered. The sole is oil and fuel resistant non-slip Nitrile, making it non-marking, antistatic, shock absorbent and the tread is self-cleaning. WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 40