LPD debuts new uniforms

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Members of the Linton Police Department have a new look they unveiled at Monday's Freedom Festival parade, along with a first-time color guard and float.

The officers have new solid-black uniforms in place of the old two-tone blue ones. They also have newly designed patches and badges and a new style of hat.

"Everybody had input," said LPD Chief Keith McDonald. "They're customized and unique to the department. It's something the officers have wanted for a while. It's really been good for the morale of the department."

He explained that the makeup of the department is almost entirely new, and the officers will have a new building soon, so they wanted a new look to go along with it.

"It's changed a lot around here," said Gary Tannehill, a former patrol officer and current reserve officer. "The department has changed and been updated. The uniforms needed updated, too. I'm impressed with the way they look. They look more modern."

Patrol Officer Josh Goodman said he thinks the all-black look is sharp. He said the uniforms look better and are supposed to be cooler.

It's true, according to Patrol Officer Blaine Gillan. Even though the uniforms are black, they're not as hot in the July weather as the old uniforms, he said, explaining that the fabric is more breathable and comfortable. Gillan speculated that another plus of the uniforms might be that they'll be easier to keep clean.

In fact, McDonald said, the uniforms can be dry cleaned at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility free of charge. He said that will be a help to the officers. He said besides the savings on dry cleaning, the new uniforms are less expensive than the old ones. The chief explained that the officers pay for the uniforms themselves out of their uniform allowance.

"They're at least a third cheaper," McDonald said. "That's a big help. They're $100 a set. The others were $150."

The difference, he said, is that the new uniforms are solid. The epaulets and pockets of the old shirts were a contrasting shade of blue to the shirt, so the original pockets and epaulets had to be removed and the contrasting ones sewn on, driving up the cost.

"Our uniform and badge are unique," Gillan said. "No other department has a badge like ours."

The badge is an oval shape in black enamel, silver and gold. It has a gold image of city hall on a silver background that looks like sun rays bursting out above it. The scales of justice is set in the center. "Linton Police" is printed below and the officer's rank above.

Gillan said the officers are keeping the traditional whistle chain, buttons and name badge. But, he said, they have new sleeve patches that he likes. The patches show an eagle carrying a flag.

"Most people don't notice the detail in the badge, etcetera, but I think they look sharp," McDonald said.

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