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Campaign Hats for Municipal PD

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  • Campaign Hats for Municipal PD

    Just a curious question, is there any signficance behind some local PD departments that wear the campaign hat in PA? I know PSP wears the big hat so I was suprised when I saw one of the Upper Providence officers get out of his patrol vehicle on 422 wearing a Campaign hat. I know of a couple departments that do in SE PA; is it common anywhere else in the state?

    do any troopers have opinion on this practice?
    Last edited by LPLEO2012; 05-04-2011, 06:55 PM. Reason: me no spell so good

  • #2
    A cover is a cover is a cover. PSP doesn't have sole claim to the smokey bear. Personally, unless it raining, snowing or I'm working some kind of detail, wearing a cover serves no functional purpose.
    Steve

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Steve in PA View Post
      A cover is a cover is a cover. PSP doesn't have sole claim to the smokey bear. Personally, unless it raining, snowing or I'm working some kind of detail, wearing a cover serves no functional purpose.
      Couldn't have said it better myself. I could care less if another department wears "the big hat", a baseball cap, or a knit hat. As Steve said... a cover is a cover is a cover.

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      • #4
        fair enough. I was just curious, most departments around here do not seem to wear covers for the day to day, so it kind of stuck out.

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        • #5
          I think those hats make the state police look pretty sharp...as well as upper prov. pd, they're missing the chin strap. Personally, i would really like to see more depts giving them to their officers but letting them be worn at their own discretion.

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          • #6
            Interesting.

            What are your thoughts on command presence of the "big hat"? The reason I ask, I have 2 former co workers who are now w/ CHP. CHP now wear the campaign hat but not commonly used in the field. My friends are from the east coast and wear them more often, both said they get more respect during the traffic stop.

            I never wore my cover with USSS UD, I felt like a tool. Only for special occasions.

            Originally posted by Ytiunegni View Post
            Couldn't have said it better myself. I could care less if another department wears "the big hat", a baseball cap, or a knit hat. As Steve said... a cover is a cover is a cover.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by UD4LIFE View Post
              Interesting.

              What are your thoughts on command presence of the "big hat"? The reason I ask, I have 2 former co workers who are now w/ CHP. CHP now wear the campaign hat but not commonly used in the field. My friends are from the east coast and wear them more often, both said they get more respect during the traffic stop.
              My thoughts of the hat is that it might add minimal "command presence", but does not constitute a significant majority in of itself. I believe command presence is most influenced by the Trooper himself... by the tone of his voice, the words he uses, how sure he seems of himself, etc. There's a reason why you don't grab that hat when you're running to a report of 15 people fighting in a parking lot. That's because the command presence (or functionality) of the hat is virtually non-existent in that scenario. Having said that, I do believe the hat has useful advantages. For example, the hat greatly reduces the amount of sunlight that enters your eyes and limits the extent that the sun "blinds" you. I consider this to be an officer safety issue, which is one reason why I usually try to wear the hat.

              For what it's worth... I performed traffic stops (issued tickets) with the hat for a week, and without the hat for the next week. It seemed that more people pled guilty when I wore the hat, and that more people pled not guilty (took hearings) when I didn't wear that hat. Coincidence? Or maybe it can be contributed to the difference in people that were pulled over. That's why I say the hat might contribute minimally to the command presence.

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              • #8
                The cmpaign ha keeps your bald head from getting sunburnt, and also protects the neck and face.
                Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

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                • #9
                  Tredyffrin PD, Chester county also wears them, those guys are tough!!!...but the command presence is important, that goes without saying, any advantage you can utilize as an officer, you should...am i wrong guys?....

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                  • #10
                    Command presence has alot to do with how an officer presents themselves but to be completely honest, when that banger or wanted felon looks in that rear view he is sizing you up. If you are 6'2 250lbs you will probably get alot more respect than the 5'9 150lb Officer. Truthfully I couldn't care less about the traditional Uniform and campaign hat. Being in the military we had service dress and battle dress. Most departments use a service dress style uniform but I believe in function over looks. I love the BDU style uniforms that some departments have adopted. In Vegas we wore baseball hats that were optional and they worked out great. Now that I am back in PA I am sure tradition will rule out. When I am on a car stop all I am thinking about how quickly I can take a tactical position if things go bad. I will take function over style points anyday. Just my $.02

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                    • #11
                      I think the Chippies look pretty sharp with the campaign hats. Alot of the troopers back east look sharp too, FHP is one that comes to mind.

                      As for function while working patrol, maybe not so much working in the city. Going to too many in progress or priority calls that I could see it becoming cumbersome. Baseball cap is optional.
                      Other officer: Oh that's right, I forgot, you're God's gift to police work.
                      Me: At least someone recognizes it.

                      Turns out basic police work isn't so hard, you just have to leave the station.

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                      • #12
                        The Campaign hat has no place in day to day patrol work. It only looks good with a dress uniform. Police departments nationwide cling to the old school uniform look of old and ignore the tactical disadvantages they offer. It is time that ALL police departments in this country wake up and realize a functional uniform is much more practical then Class A type duty uniforms.
                        " The Beatings will continue until Morale Improves "

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