Snow drifts in Denver. Frigid mornings in Minneapolis. Chilly winds blowing across New England.
Staying warm while on duty is important. A cold officer can be an irritable, less efficient officer.
Image from Minnesota Public Radio and (Associated Press/Austin Daily Herald, Eric Johnson)
There is no reason to shiver through an 8 or 12 hour shift!
Officers on foot patrol are especially susceptible to cold weather conditions. This is often the case for police officers, security detail and campus police.
But keeping the elements at bay should be relatively simple if you have the right clothing and gear.
How do you choose the right cold weather gear for work?
There are a few helpful tips that we’ll share with you. Keep these in mind when you’re shopping for your next coat, jacket, cap or pair of gloves.
# 1 – GETTING A GOOD FIT. Naturally you’ll want a coat, jacket or pullover that fits your body well. But you’ll also want to consider how it will fit over a uniform or how it will interact with other gear you might be wearing (a bullet proof vest or weapon holster for example) or gear you might be carrying (like a tool belt or gear bag). Think about what your normal routine requires.
# 2 – LOOK FOR QUALITY. This seems obvious, but what you want to do is look for quality that is a.) also affordable and b.) fits your needs. Do you need a $299 coat when a $60 windbreaker will do? Do you put more trust in a coat from a name brand manufacturer? Generally though, good quality equals good durability. You want apparel that holds up to the conditions of everyday use.
# 3 – CONSIDER DURABILITY. You’re bound to be using your gear day after day in all types of weather and working conditions. Think about your specific duties. Will a soft shell jacket be up to the task or will you need a tougher material? Will you get dirty while on duty? Consider a stain-resistant or easily cleanable material for your outer shell. Shoulder, elbows, collar and zippers will take a beating on any jacket. Keep this in mind.
# 4 – FOCUS ON MULTI-FUNCTION. The mark of good gear is its dual functionality. Not only will you need to keep away the cold, but consider these needed multi-function qualities.
- warmth + rain protection
- warm + wind protection
- warmth + freedom of movement
- warmth + reflective striping
# 5 – WILL IT CARRY YOUR GEAR? Most cold weather coats and jackets offer a variety of pockets for carrying radios, notepads, flashlights and anything else you might need to carry around. Read up on the pockets – are they velcro, zip or open? Will they hold all your gear?
Finding the right duty jacket or work coat takes a little thought, but using these 5 simple tips from Galls.com will help get you the cold weather clothing you need.