Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Police contemplating updated officer garb

Tonganoxie police Sgt. Steve Hawkins models a sample police uniform that the police department is contemplating wearing as its new type of uniform. Police Chief Jeff Brandau is asking for public input on the uniforms.

Tonganoxie police Sgt. Steve Hawkins models a sample police uniform that the police department is contemplating wearing as its new type of uniform. Police Chief Jeff Brandau is asking for public input on the uniforms.

October 12, 2011

The Tonganoxie Police Department is trying out a new look.

Police Chief Jeff Brandau said the department was sampling uniforms that have a tactical appearance. The new look was to be shared with the Tonganoxie City Council, but Monday’s meeting was canceled.

Brandau said the department was looking for feedback from the council and the general public. He also wants residents to get accustomed to the new uniforms so they don’t get alarmed with the uniforms, which do have the appearance associated with those worn by SWAT teams and other tactical units.

But Brandau said there was thought behind the uniforms.

“This came from the guys,” the chief said of the police officers on the department. “They did all the research. They made the selections. They worked up the pricing.”

And cost is one advantage of the sampled uniforms. Outfitting an officer with three of the sampled uniforms would cost $835, compared to $1,260 for three of the department’s current uniforms. The cost to replace one uniform per officer annually would be reduced from $574 to $300.

Much of the savings are realized in the shirts and pants. The sampled uniforms replace traditional collared shirts with polo shirts in summer and mock turtlenecks in winter.

Sgt. Steve Hawkins, who was wearing the sample uniform to model for the council, said the appeal to officers was the increased comfort the uniforms afforded. One significant change was transferring much of the 36 to 37 pounds of gear officers carry from duty belts to pockets and clips on external vests, which offer more protection than undershirt vests and can be removed when officers are inside the station.

“I like it better,” Hawkins said. “It takes a lot of pressure off the hips and lower back. You don’t have to hold onto everything when you are running or chasing after somebody.

“It’s a little more comfortable and easier to get in and out of. If you work an accident for a couple of hours and come back to the station to write a report, you can peel this off and feel a lot better.”

In a report to the council, Brandau wrote that one of the most common work-related injuries for police officers was lower back strain from carrying weight on the officer duty belt.

The chief also wrote that a $4,974 grant the department received in September would pay for half the cost of the new vests.

With those advantages, the new look is catching on with other departments, Hawkins said. Three or four departments in Johnson County have adopted similar uniforms, and they are catching on in the West, he said.

Comments

12345 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't like it. LEO's should be approachable and engaging the community. This will not help that. Police officers, especially small town officers, should be part of the community and one of us. There's too many people out there that have the attitude that the police are out to get them, and too many kids are picking up that attitude too. This will only make that worse.

While I'm on the topic, that silly car with the "ghost" lettering falls into the same category. The only reason to have the "ghost" lettering is for sneaking around without being noticed. LEO's should be seen and accessible and a part of our community. There's no reason for the ghost lettering unless it's to be able to write lots of tickets. If this is all about writing lots of tickets let's just get rid of all the officers and set up traffic cameras!

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h0218 2 years, 11 months ago

I have yet to meet and LEO in Tongie that is unapproachable. I have found all of them to be friendly and easy to talk to. As far as I knew they are a part of the community no matter what uniform they wear. this uniform gives them the ability to relieve some of the weight of the all the gear that they are required to wear. And on top of that it saves the city money. If people are of the attitude that the police are out to get them, maybe they need to take a better look at themselves. If your paranoid about the police then you are obviously doing something wrong. Same goes for the kids. Most parents are not teaching their kids to respect authorites, to include officers, teachers, parents even.

I am all for the new uniforms. They will enable the officers much needed relief to their bodies. If you want to question, try and wear all that gear and function on your job!

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12345 2 years, 11 months ago

If I implied that there is something wrong with any of the LEO's in Tongie it was unintentional.

I simply mean that other people have these perceptions and I think it's important that LEO's are consider a part of the community and are approachable and welcoming.

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Paula Crook 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't have any problem with these new uniforms. If the new uniforms will help with the weight of all the gear that these officers have to wear then... I say great! I would like for the city to keep the traditionally uniforms for special occasions, like LV county fair, Tongie Days, even at funerals, "special events".
I would like to see the police dept. phase these new uniform in and not drop the money all at once. Just my thoughts!

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ryan1180 2 years, 11 months ago

I know I'm thinking twice about rolling through a stop sign if I see one of our finest wearing one of those bad boys. Steven Seagal made these uniforms popular in the hit A&E show titled "Lawman"

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free2besweet 2 years, 11 months ago

It is a little intimidating as it looks like SWAT gear but it is so much more practical than the belts. I don't even know how officers can quickly enter and exit their vehicles with all that gear on their belts. As long as they are serving and protecting the public as they have sworn to do and are upholding their oath to preserve the constitution I don't care what they wear.

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Michael Vestal 2 years, 11 months ago

I do agree with Paula. The Officers need to keep a dress uniform for specials of which they participate. Also, I would like to see them keep the Chieftain emblem. Chief Tonganoxie is why we have that name and would like to keep that heritage alive! Chief Brandau, Please keep the Chieftain!!

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TongiePD 2 years, 11 months ago

In response to all of your comments and questions:

The traditional uniform will be still be worn by the Chief of Police and Deputy Chief. The new uniform will be worn by officer's during day to day operations. All officer's will still maintain a traditional police uniform for all special events i.e. funerals, parades, special talks, or any other event deemed necessary by the Chief.

With regards to the Chief of Tonganoxie emblem... It will continue to be utilized by the Tonganoxie Police Department.

If anyone has any questions, please contact the police deparment and ask.

Thank you, Tonganoxie Police Department

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