The many forms of a uniform

      Historically, the amount of time and thought put into a uniform design was not in keeping with the ratio of hours an officer ends up spending in it. Modern uniform technology has some praises to sing however. Today's manufacturers are...

Boxers or briefs?

   Throughout Tru-Spec's Baselayer undergarment line, there are many common features such as ribbed knit collars with double needle cover stitching, a heat transfer tag and an off-set shoulder seam to minimize seam stacking. The Baselayer Crew and Mock Neck Long Sleeve shirts include ribbed knit cuffs with internal thumb loops for securing sleeves while layering.

   Baselayer undergarments wouldn't be complete without boxer briefs or drawers. While including some of the same elements of their shirt counterparts, the undergarments incorporate an elastic waistband, and the boxer briefs feature a gripper on the exterior to secure an officer's tucked-in shirttail.

The science of waterproofing

   Public safety professionals often find themselves wading through a host of wet, corrosive and downright dirty matter. That's why Magnum Boots USA made it a mission to get waterproofing down to a science using Ion Mask technology.

   "Ion Mask was originally developed for the U.K. military by a company called P2i, and they wanted to get the technology to the general population," says Dayna Panales, public relations manager at Magnum. Hi-Tec, Magnum's sister company, was the first consumer-based company to launch Ion Mask in a shoe. The Elite Force 8.0 WPI boot with Ion Mask launched in the tactical field in 2009.

   When applied to the boot, Ion Mask, a plasma-based technology, adheres to every single fiber — even the rubber, leather and shoe strings. Thanks to this impenetrable shield, any liquid the boot comes into contact with sits on the surface like mercury and rolls right off. For EMS and law enforcement workers especially that spells extra protection in all kinds of precarious situations.

   "What makes this really cool — especially for the tactical field — is it makes the shoe pathogen-resistant," says Panales. Say an officer walks into a puddle of blood and the stitching on his footwear is not treated with any type of waterproofing technology. The blood proteins can begin to deteriorate the threads. Ion Mask coats the threading as well as the entire shoe, so every square inch is waterproof up to the tongue.

   In addition to being hydrophobic, Panales adds the boot is seem sealed and constructed of waterproof leather; the Ion Mask just creates an additional shell of armor.

   The lightweight Elite Force WPI weighs 20 ounces in a men's size 9 and remains breathable. According to Panales, Ion Mask does not have to be reapplied, and lasts the life of the leather and to the fabric it's applied.

Hi-viz meets hi-style outerwear

   All of Magnum's new outerwear and clothing is tested and reviewed by tactical and law enforcement professionals throughout the world. Panales adds, "We get every kind of opinion and ideas — where the pockets should be, the Velcro, what's keeping you undercover, that kind of thing." This is how the company came up with the Bi fit Elite and Reversible Hi-viz jacket. It's especially convenient for undercover officers who want a features-stacked yet stylishly stealthy piece of outerwear.

   Users can carry gun magazines and other extras in the Bi fit's many pockets. This particular jacket also boasts an integrated vest system underneath, so it can be worn as a three-piece article of clothing. The under-vest has Velcro straps across the front chest and back, on which wearers can apply and produce a police label for quick identification.

   Both pieces are designed to look neat, clean and sleek. "We wanted it to look like you're just wearing an urban setting jacket," says Panales. "But in the case of the hi-viz jacket, you turn it inside out and you are completely NC2 hi-viz reflective."

   All jackets have detachable, zip-off or fold-up hoods. They also feature mic lube and zipper weapons access.

Keeping cool while concealed

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