Thanks to the Men and Women in Blue

Posted on July 14 2016

We encounter people in uniform multiple times a day as we go through our regular activities.  When we board a train and are greeted by a conductor wearing pressed work pants, visit the doctor cloaked in a clean lab coat, or purchase food to grill at our celebratory summer barbeques from a butcher donning a meat coat.  In each case, the presence of a recognizable uniform evokes a sense of security and comfort and serves as a consistent reminder of the many people working hard to make society a better place for everyone.  Police uniforms are one of the most important examples of this and the image presented by police departments has changed significantly over the centuries.

The earliest police departments in the U.S. did not issue uniforms to its members and police wore plain clothes and the only recognizable identification they wore, if any, was a badge or patch.  As city populations grew, police began wearing uniforms so they would be easily identifiable to citizens needing their assistants.  The New York City Police Departments was the first to outfit its force in uniforms in 1854 followed shortly thereafter by Boston and Chicago in 1858.  Many of the earliest police forces outfitted their officers in surplus Union Army uniforms from the Civil War – beginning a long tradition of men and women serving our communities in blue.  

Police shifted to work shirts and work pants in the 1960s and moved away from anything that would present a military appearance.  This was done to help bridge the divide between officers and the communities they protect.  In addition, the blue work shirt is easier to clean than lighter color shirts and the work shirt was a comfortable tool to help police do their jobs effectively.

Working Duds thanks all of the men and women in uniform who work hard to serve and protect us everyday.


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