The Evolution of the Police Uniform
By Angel Abdulnor

There are several ways in which we are able to distinguish a police officer from any other type of professional. For one, police officers carry specialized equipment, and for another, they wear a uniform that sets them apart. The police uniform is one of the police officer's most distinguishing visual characteristics, and is unique to the job.

The industry of police uniform production is said to be rapidly progressing in recent years. One reason for this may be the present need for heightened security in many parts of the world. The more security necessary, the more uniformed police officers are needed. The expansion of the police uniform industry can also be attributed to the passage of time. In an age of ever-evolving technology and trends, all types of professionals are presented with the need to make advances, and the law enforcement field is no exception.

As fashion moves forward, the colors, fabrics, and designs used for clothing constantly change, shaping new fashions and trends. Often the design elements necessary for the effectiveness of a police uniform and those needed for fashion tend to conflict. In the field of law enforcement, function must take priority over fashion. But how far must police uniforms advance in order to function to maximum effect? For instance, progress is being made in the area of fabric technology, including advances such as moisture management, bacteria fighting, UV reduction, and stain resistance. This raises the questions about the importance of equipping police uniforms with the latest and greatest advances in technology. One side of the argument is that police uniforms have served their purpose in the past without these features. The other side is that these new advances can help a police officer to do his or her job more effectively, as well as prevent certain negative health conditions. It can also be argued that, as long as these additional features do not impede the form or functionality of the uniform, their addition can't do anything but help. The big question is, how much does all this really matter?

For now, the answer is mainly a result of personal preference, and there are uniform options to suit every police officer. Even for those officers who care about fashion, there is now a wide variety of uniforms available that will incorporate fashion as well as functionality. And since all uniforms must be approved before they are used, no uniform is currently being employed that could be in any way detrimental to form, to function, or to the safety of the officer.

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