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Posted: 1/27/2006 9:31:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2006 9:32:34 PM EDT by Scotter260]
With the beginning of the new year, our department finally got a decent unifom allowance for our officers.

Our huge department consists of:

Chief
1 full-timer (Me)
3 part-timers all with full-time licenses.

Our annual uniform budget was......$500 for the whole fricking department. I finally got fed up and contacted departments of similar size around us and asked what they got. Most were in the $300-400 per officer and some were upwards of $700. Some let officers bill to the cities while a few just cut checks payable to the officers. I presented this information to the city council and it seems they listened somewhat and bumped the budget up to $1500 per year. Please, the ooohhhs and aaahhhs are much too distracting to me.

Anyhoo, my Chief decided that he and I will get $450 each and each part-timer will get $200 since they're given all necessary duty gear including pistols when they're hired.

I'd been wearing 6 year old Danner Olympias that my previous department had purchased for me and they were getting smooth on the bottom. I ordered a pair of 5.11 HRTs and also a pair of 5.11 TDU pants. 5.11 is running a promotion now where you get a free ball-cap (sadly back-ordered)with any purchase, free socks with a boot purchase and free knee-pads for the TDU pants. The pants come with the pads already in the knee-pad pockets but apparently you get another free set, who needs that many I'll never know.

I've worn the boots now for a little over a week and I really like them. They're very supportive in the ankle area and fit very well. They don't seem as much like tennis shoes as other boots have for me, the bottoms feel like you're walking on concrete instead of rubber and this is my only gripe. Otherwise they're working out well for me. (The Danner's got shipped off for recrafting so I'll have a winter pair and a summer pair.)

Tonight's my first night with the pants and they're great. They have hidden elastic in the waistband and it gives a tight but comfortable fit. The cargo pockets also have to addtional partitioned pockets inside that I assume can be used for lights, mags, etc. The belt loops are very wide and sturdy and while I initially thought they'd interfere with my belt keepers they don't. There is an additional "loop" around the entire back of the pants that is one continuous loop that would entirely encompass my under belt if I wanted to do it. I'm not sure why one would use this since it won't allow belt-keepers. The knee-pads are very subdued and I don't even notice them except they keep pulling my long-johns up past the tops of my boots. The knee-pads work very nicely even if I drop full force onto a hard surface to my knees.

The HRT boots cost $140. I believe the price on the boots is in line with other makes and I'll have to see how long they last so I can pro-rate out their true cost. My only problem is again, the bottoms seeming a bit hard but otherwise they're keeping me from sliding all over the place and falling down like I was doing in my smooth Danners.

The TDU pants cost $35. I've been wearing Propper BDUs at work and they cost the same if not a little bit more, maybe $37 and they don't come with the knee-pads and extra special cargo pockets. Plus with the promotions I'll be getting a few extras for the money, unless they don't allow them since the city bought the products. We'll see what happens.

Just a little review for anyone out there contemplating 5.11 products.

I'd also like to hear others' experiences with these products and/or customer service, durability, etc.

Thanks for reading,
Scott
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 9:38:03 PM EDT
Someone else recently posted about how the 5.11 boots lasted a month or two then had some problems.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:20:01 AM EDT
The 5.11 pants are great, sadly my Dept. refuses to let us wear BDU style pants.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 8:36:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 8:37:30 AM EDT by Pointman_M4A1]
I wear 5.11 Tac pants everyday, comfortable, have enough pockets to carry extra mags, flex cuffs, notebook...............

And some of the guys have had the same pair 5.11 pants for over 10 years and they still look good enough for uniform wear.

My "uniform" consists of 5.11 pants, a polo shirt, Sig 226 in paddle holster, and a light jacket.
I carry all other duty gear in the pants pockets.

Of course I am a Sgt. and no longer do patrol.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:10:01 AM EDT
I have a pair of the 5.11 pants that I bought two years ago, and they still look great. I'm going to get a pair of the TDU pants the next time I trash some range BDU's, thanks for the review.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:51:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:59:41 PM EDT
I like 5.11 pants for training and off duty.

BTW: Our uniform allowance is two wool uniforms a year, whether we need them or not. Every year i ask if they can cut me a purchase order for the cost of the uniforms which i can use for a new sam brown or boots instead. The answwer is always "no." So I have 26 shirts and around 20 pants now. Prolly a half dozen never worn. Boots and other leather gear is paid for out of pocket.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:57:59 AM EDT
Hmmm...I hadn't thought about wearing the 5.11 shorts on bike. I've been wearing a pair of blue BDU shorts from Brigade Quartermaster, which work OK, but could be better.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 7:18:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Scotter260:
Our annual uniform budget was......$500 for the whole fricking department. I



Not exactly the same problem, but whenever we have difficulty prying uniform items out of our supply depot people just supply their own... Boot laces used to be a problem.... Until staff started buying their own.. Mickey Mouse, Barbie and/or Sesame Street charactor laces really brighten up a pair of black boots.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:54:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:11:51 AM EDT
We can't wear BDU's, I could b/c I am K-9 but I do not wear them. I have never worn any 5.11 gear but a fellow officer has a few of the shirts and loves them, so I might have to try them out some day.

So your uniform allowance sucks, we get almost 400 every 6 months per officer. How is the rest of your department equipment, cruisers, duty gear, etc.??????
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 9:42:55 PM EDT
Girlieman:

My wife told me I should just start wearing tennis shoes to work that really stood out. One of my points in my letter to the council was that the boots I wear aren't worn for anything but duty and when the $200 paid for my Danners is pro-rated, they were at $40 per year which is cheap footwear. My recrafting will cost $90 but I believe they're absolutely worth every penny. I like the shoelace idea though, stick it to the man!!!!! Elmo loves you!!!

LEO916:

We have one car that's going on 4 years old and has approx. 110,000 miles on it. We used to get them replaced every three years but our governor cut aid to small towns so the city starting dipping out of our capital reserves for the car. But the car looks so nice they say. Yeah, we take care of the car you provide us but looks can be deceiving. This car is going to have some great repairs done on it in the coming year so I might have to buy this one on auction, since of course, it would only cost a maximum of $1,000 per year in maintenance and another $300 per year for insurance to keep it as a back-up/city vehicle for training. Our policy has a stipulation that city workers shall use a city vehicle IF AVAILABLE and if they still choose to use their own, the city doesn't have to pay mileage. I pointed out that over three years the city paid out almost $6,000 in mileage. They could cut that by over half if they'd just keep the fricking cars around. Penny smart and pound stupid as the saying goes.

We just got rifles through our National Guard and the DRMO but we still don't have ammo to train with or a long gun lock in the squad.

I'm still wearing a vest that I bought on my own while working armed security in the space between college and career. A cheap Gall's vest that I got half reimbursed by the state while working at my first department. Our state only allows one reimbursement per officer every six years so I might get a new one this year. I also applied for and received funds through the BVP Grant program and got half the cost for 3 nice ($800) vests from the feds. The council didn't approve the matching funds for this of course, after all, this is Mayberry and nothing happens right?

The department does provide firearms and all leather for all officers, even part-timers so that's good. My hours are pretty much set so no aclimating to new shifts every week, month, or quarter. They never complained when I bought new pants or shirts before but a city council member had to sign off on any purchase over $100 (policy must have been written in the 50s when $100 would buy something) so that was a pain in the ass. There's a lot of good things but the bad things are starting to add up.

We aren't union so our wages are $5 per hour behind the rest of the departments in the county even though the college degree requirements and licensure requirements are the same every where in the state. My chief who's been here for over 25 years made the same wages as I did last year according to our W-2s and he works every day as do I. He's basically the head patrolman with all the headaches and no compensation for it. As our clerk once told us though, you can always work somewhere else. Now that's the kind of attitude I like!!!!

Scott
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 10:08:15 PM EDT
I've found the HRT boots to be pretty comfortable for everyday wear. Light, non-slip, and water/body fluid proof. They took a bit to break in, but since then they're easy on and off. I wear the 5.11 tactical pants mostly because they're easy to take care of and the inserts for kneepads are a knee saver wherever patients are found. I have one of their loose cut undershirts, but the seams make it more uncomfortable than the Underarmor tactical undershirts.

One thing I've liked so far is their socks. I normally have Thorlo medium-heavy weight boot socks, but since I'm no longer taking walks in the woods for Uncle Sam, I tried out the bargain Hanes cotton black sock from Wal-Mart and a pair of the 5.11 socks. Both are much lighter (and cooler) than the Thorlos. The Hanes socks give me the performance I expect with any other cotton sock. The 5.11s keep everything unders light compression and the toes stay pretty dry. Overall I feel they're worth having if you plan on staying in your boots for 12-24 hours.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 1:18:01 PM EDT
Bates boots are better.

My 5.11 pants shrunk up pretty bad. They were also rather maintanence intensive. The ones I had had to be ironed evertime they were washed or they looked like dried up prunes for all the wrinkles.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:21:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 9:25:24 PM EDT by Scotter260]
I mentioned in my first post that I had returned my 6 year-old Danner Olympics (Olympias, I can't ever remember) back to Danner for recrafting.

I got them back yesterday and man, do they look sweet!!!!

I got the $90 recrafting which consisted of new outsole, midsole, leather reconditioning, new laces and new Airthotics. New eyelets might also be included but not having the website up, I'm not sure.

The exterior of the boots look brand new although the deeper scuffs are still there which I understand as this recrafting was not a complete overhaul so to speak.

The worn smooth outsoles were replaced with brand new ones, of course, and look like they should provide another 6 years of service.

The best part is while the boots look brand new, they're still broken in for my feet so I won't have any surprises as far as spots that could cause blisters which could occur with new boots that feel nice when initially tried on but need a few hours of walking to expose these issues.

Considering that a new pair of these boots now goes for around $229, I think my $90 was very well spent. IMHO, if you've got a pair of Danners that have seen better days, seriously consider a recrafting as these boots are made by what I feel are craftsmen whereas most others, while probably adequate, are made by sweat-shop labor.

Thanks for reading,
Scott
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 9:34:17 AM EDT
I really like the 5.11 pants. The rear pocket is perfect for the Streamlight SL-20X. I sits nicely without flopping around or falling out like with typical BDU pants.
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