French blue, a bow tie, and a “Smokey Bear” hat.
These small details are what make the Washington State Patrol’s uniforms so iconic— and not mention makes us one of the best dressed law enforcement agencies in the country!
However, some things are about the change.
Starting next month, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) will start rolling out prototypes of its new uniform!
The goal is to provide Troopers with a wash-and-wear, multi-functional, homogenous uniform that proudly represents the best law enforcement agency in the nation…but that’s a lot easier said than done.
Two companies, Blauer and Flying Cross, are currently vying for the WSP’s new uniform contract.
According to Blauer’s website, the company manufactures an Armorskin ballistic vest cover system which increases range of motion and improves all day comfort while maintaining a professional appearance. Flying Cross on the other hand says it makes a CrossFX functional duty uniform for everyday wear that is professional in appearance provides comfort, and is easy to maintain.
While they may look similar to our current wool uniforms, there are a few major differences.
The biggest takeaways? Vests and material.
The ability to remove their 3 to 5 lbs. ballistic vest is huge. This will allow Troopers to easily slip-off their vest when stationed in an office. The new poly-blend material also provides a major advantage to Troopers. Not only is their uniform more flexible but they can also throw them in the wash— saving a lot of trips to the dry cleaners.
So how will we choose?
In July, each WSP district will receive a Blauer and Flying Cross prototype uniform. Two Troopers will then be selected to wear one of the uniforms throughout the entire summer. In fall, those Troopers will present their notes on appearance and functionality to the WSP command staff; additionally, a survey will be distributed to the general public for feedback. From there, the Washington State Patrol will decide which uniform best suits the agency’s needs.
About 1,100 of the new uniforms are expected to be in Troopers hands sometime next year.