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Best dressed Public Safety Award winners announced
01
May '09
The North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD) announced the winners of its first-ever Public Safety Awards competition during a special presentation in Las Vegas. As uniforms are an integral component of any public safety program, the awards emphasize the importance of professional, neat, well fitted, and immediately identifiable uniforms in police, fire and other first-responder public safety programs.

“There are several contributing factors to a good public safety uniform program,” said Richard Lerman, president and CEO of the NAUMD. “Its design, composition and overall comfort all affect how well the individuals who protect us are able to stay safe while executing their responsibilities. This award recognizes and applauds those responsible for the development of exceptional public safety apparel programs.”

Winners were selected in eight categories ranging from small city police departments to large special agencies, such as prisons. Winning programs were selected from an independent panel of judges including public safety officials, representatives from the media and public safety educational institutions.

Winners include:
Police Department Under 50 Officers:
Sturbridge Police Department, Sturbridge, Mass., by Red the Uniform Tailor

Police Department Under 200 Officers:
Abington, Mass., Police Department by Red the Uniform Tailor

County Sheriffs Department:
Rapides Parish, La., Sheriff's Office by Caplan's

State Agency:
- Mississippi State Highway Patrol by Southeastern Shirt Company
- Washington State Highway Patrol by Blumenthal Uniform Co., Inc.

Fire Services Agency:
Caballo Mines Rescue Team, Gillette, Wyo., by 5.11 Tactical

Most Innovative New Product:
Lone Tree, Colo., Police Department by Quartermaster Uniforms

Special Agency:
Spartanburg, S.C., Country Detention Facility by VF Imagewear

Special Organization:
Nassau County, N.Y., Explorers' Squad by Liberty Uniform Mfg Co., Inc.

“The presence of uniformed personnel reduces anxiety and makes the general public feel safer,” added Lerman. “It also assists in discouraging crime, something that becomes increasingly important during economic downturns.”

There were many distinctive features to the programs awarded this year. For example, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office replicated its newly designed badge in an explosive emblem on the sleeve of the solid silver tan shirts. With the increasing incidents of officer impersonations, this design helped distinguish new uniforms from previous uniforms that may have been lost or stolen.

“We wanted a new uniform program that reflected the new era of our department,” said Rapides Parish Sheriff Charles Wagner. “We expect our deputies to maintain high professional standards, so they must look professional too. Winning this award validates the professionalism of our new program.”

To help promote the profession amongst younger volunteers, the Nassau County Police Department used its new uniform program to help empower its Explorer Squad by giving them a well-designed and professional uniform.

“A quality apparel program yields immeasurable dividends for public safety officials,” said Lerman. “Ultimately, if you want to be the best, you need to look your best. These awards recognize the best of the best in public safety.”

The North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors

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