Going back well over 20 years, the department and its members have tried to bring about a dress uniform for the sworn members. Last week’s graduation marks the first day these new uniforms and the new patch were showcased, as well as the first Boston Police Academy Class to ever wear a full dress uniform.
Approximately 3 years ago, when Former Commissioner Gross was the Superintendent and Chief, he had a meeting with a group of individuals comprised of the members of the 3 sworn unions. He directed them to find a dress coat suitable for the department, and the committee obtained samples from various manufacturers and vendors and submitted recommendations.
After selecting a final coat, Police Officer Robert Anthony, a department historian, introduced a prototype shoulder patch as part of the project to replace the existing shoulder patch in an attempt to incorporate historical features of Boston. Robert Anthony’s prototype evolved into the new patch that was ultimately approved by PC Gross and will be displayed on the shoulders of the new dress coats and eventually all uniforms.
This new patch represents the historical significance of our City – showcasing Paul Revere’s statue, the Bunker Hill Monument, and the U.S. Constitution. The other new addition to the patch was a banner that read “First in the Nation”, proudly reminding us that our Police Department was the first Police Department in the United States when it was officially established in the year 1630.
During this process, a group of individuals known as the “Friends of the Boston Police” reached out and offered to raise money in order to purchase the coats and donate them directly to the unions for delivery to their members. Over the next year or so they raised the money in order to purchase the coat officers of all ranks.
Blauer manufacturing, who made the coats that were selected, worked a pair of pants into the deal, ensuring each officer would receive a matching pair of dress pants to match the coat. During the process, the Friends of the Boston Police coordinated with Police Chief Shumane Benford of the Boston Housing Police Department and is also providing coats to that entire department as well.
Over the course of four weeks in February and March, the dress coat committee members along with representatives of Blauer Manufacturing fitted approximately 1,800 individuals for their new coats. We were lucky enough to be invited to cover the fitting and spoke with many department members who expressed how happy they were to be able to get what they considered to be long overdue dress uniforms.
This project represents the synergy of efforts made by the Police Department under Commissioner Gross, the sworn unions (BPPA, BPSOF & BPDBS), the Friends of the Boston Police, and Blauer Manufacturing. Additional recognition should be paid to Chairman Sean McGrath, and Co-Chairmans George K. Regan Jr. and Larry Curran for their work on the uniforms at the Friends of the Boston Police; Sergeant Detective Dan Humphreys and an huge thank you to New Balance, Audax Group, Herb Chambers, and Bank of America for their contributions on this monumental project.