FPD gets new uniforms, patches

Published 1:01 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Instead of wearing three different shades of gray around town, officers of the Farmville Police Department will soon don a dark, navy blue uniform with a redesigned patch on their shoulders as they greet and work with the public.

The change from gray shirt and blue trousers to solid- blue uniforms has been a long time coming and is much needed, said Acting Police Chief A.Q “Andy” Ellington.

Ellington said officers have been wearing the same style of uniforms for about 20 years.

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“The biggest reason is, when we started, we had trouble matching the gray shirt, the uniform shirt,” he said of the change. “We never could get a dye lot that was consistent. We had officers walking around in, basically, three different colors of gray.”

Calling the different colors “embarrassing,” he said it took up to eight months to get the shirts in after ordered.

“It’s very important that the officers look professional at all times when they’re out here, especially when they’re in their uniforms,” Ellington added.

In recent years, he said, manufacturers have come out with an outer carrier ballistic vest, one “officers can just actually slip on and wear it on the outside versus the inside of a shirt, which is much cooler. It allows them to come inside during hot days (and) they can actually just peel this right off, sit down and do their paperwork and, when they go back out on the street, they can just quickly put it back on.”

In addition to the change of colors, the uniforms will have a colorful badge on each shoulder.

The badges depict a farmer plowing a field, flanked by the United States and Virginia flags. Ellington calls it “plowing toward the future.” The redesigned badge, compared to the older black and white one, “really pops when you look at it,” he said.

The newly designed patch on the uniforms depicts a farmer “plowing toward the future,” according to Acting Police Chief A.Q. “Andy” Ellington.

The newly designed patch on the uniforms depicts a farmer “plowing toward the future,” according to Acting Police Chief A.Q. “Andy” Ellington.

The funds spent on the badge redesign and new uniforms came from the department’s budget.

“I just want (the community) to see a more polished, professional display of uniform by our officers,” Ellington said. “Again, to me, uniformity is first and foremost, and I want my officers to appear professional at all times.”

Lt. John R. Garrett, a longtime town officer, said while the new uniforms will take some getting use to by the public, they’re very nice.

Officer Gary Williams, a former trooper with the Virginia State Police, said the new uniforms are better because they are more readily available than the older ones. He said it was hard to match the shades of gray in the previous uniforms.

Detective A.R. Bappert said the dark blue is more uniform and professional.

The formal switch to the new uniforms will take place Sunday.