July 13, 2021

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Professional Dress for Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s tip is for anyone in law enforcement.

Did you hear about the defendant who wore his very best beer t-shirt for his driving under the influence trial? That’ll impress the jury. True story. But I digress. Remember, first impressions count. And not just for defendants.

Assume that anything you carry or wear will be scrutinized. Adjust what you wear accordingly.

How do you dress for work and court? What about your uniform? Are your hems and shirt cuffs frayed? Do those three-year-old pants fit like a sausage casing? Is your court suit due for replacement? And what are you wearing under that uniform?

Let’s go behind the scenes a bit. Suppose you are part of a serious use of force incident. You may be photographed, and your uniform taken as evidence. Does the t-shirt underneath have anything that could be viewed as inappropriate on it? Would you want that t-shirt broadcast on National television? A package of plain t-shirts costs less than 20 bucks and could be a good investment to neutralize your appearance.

Uniform items should always be in good condition and fit well. Spend some of that uniform allowance if items need to be replaced and don’t forget about footwear. Dirty shoes or boots will be noticed.

Does your duty weapon or baton include engravings that could be construed in a negative fashion? Are there inappropriate stickers or logos on your cell phone or patches on your gear bag? What about your tattoos? Do they comply with agency policy?

Assume that anything you carry or wear will be scrutinized. Adjust what you wear accordingly. In short, dress professionally and make a good impression while representing your agency.

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

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