The Purpose of a Uniform is ….well…TO BE UNIFORM!
The female uniform seems to be a common point of frustration for all female police officers in most of the civilized world. Perhaps Canadians female police officers should be celebrating the fact that the OPP and the RCMP adapted the working uniform were quicker to learn from each other’s mistakes and successes.
The dress uniform and female hats for both the OPP and the RCMP, however, took more than ten years to change. It is difficult to understand how any uniformed service could miss the point of the value and messaging conveyed through the uniform.
It is equally difficult to understand why almost all the police forces in the entire civilized world got female police uniforms wrong in much the same way. Even more puzzling was the fact police forces, such as Australia, insisted on testing out the concept of female police officers in skirts and pumps in operational duties over a decade after they had been abandoned in North America.
In the coming months, this site will feature future articles focusing on the evolution of the female uniform in various police agencies and countries. For now enjoy the slide show. Special thanks to the Vancouver Police Museum, David Aspland (retired New South Wales P.D.), Irena Lawrenson (retired Ontario Provincial Police) and Sheldon Boles (retired RCMP) for providing the photos.