The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old November 27, 2007, 08:43 PM   #1
securityagentx
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 27, 2007
Posts: 1
Why dont cops like to wear hats?

I remember when cops used to wear the old bus-driver caps. It didnt look "tough", but instead, professional. What happened to the bus-driver caps? Is it tactically bad to go bareback instead of looking like a bus-driver?

Most cops I see have shaved heads nowadays or wear a baseball hat like they are going to a game.
securityagentx is offline  
Old November 27, 2007, 08:59 PM   #2
oldbillthundercheif
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 21, 2006
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 2,450
Good question.

The only time I ever see cops wearing the old-style hats nowdays is at parades and funerals.
oldbillthundercheif is offline  
Old November 27, 2007, 09:38 PM   #3
Jay1958
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 26, 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 274
For local police, the same is true here (North Carolina). However, I do sometimes see state troopers wearing their "Smokey Bear" hats. Not the old style bus driver hats, though.

I think people in general wear fewer hats (only exception: baseball-style caps). Hats that are the most associated with certain professions (ie. "specialty hats") seem to be the most out of favor. Remember those weird little "wing" hats that nurses used to wear? How long has it been since you've seen one of those?
Jay1958 is offline  
Old November 27, 2007, 10:18 PM   #4
Capt Charlie
Staff
 
Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Steubenville, OH
Posts: 4,309
Quote:
What happened to the bus-driver caps?
In most departments, they're class A, full dress uniform only, mainly because they're a pain in the butt during a fight or a foot pursuit.

As for the short hair? Same reason as the military; it doesn't provide a handle during a fight.

As to whether or not this is on topic for T&T? Sorry guys, it ain't.

Closed.
__________________
TFL Members are ambassadors to the world for firearm owners. What kind of ambassador does your post make you?

I train in earnest, to do the things that I pray in earnest, I'll never have to do.

--Capt. Charlie
Capt Charlie is offline  
Old November 28, 2007, 04:50 PM   #5
Capt Charlie
Staff
 
Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Steubenville, OH
Posts: 4,309
Re-opened

All righty, then. I got a PM today convincing me that this subject may indeed have some training value here.

This thread's re-opened. Go to it, guys.
__________________
TFL Members are ambassadors to the world for firearm owners. What kind of ambassador does your post make you?

I train in earnest, to do the things that I pray in earnest, I'll never have to do.

--Capt. Charlie
Capt Charlie is offline  
Old November 28, 2007, 04:57 PM   #6
Venison_Jerkey32
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 19, 2006
Location: Country of Origin: Texas
Posts: 192
I thought the military shaved your hair to prevent lice
__________________
Happiness is an empty mag and a pile of hot brass...

I may be young, but it is the people of my generation that will decide the future of America.
Venison_Jerkey32 is offline  
Old November 28, 2007, 05:24 PM   #7
WNTFW
Member
 
Join Date: August 10, 2006
Posts: 19
My dad was an old school police officer & wore that type of hat in certain roles. They were trained to approach most situations with their hat on. It was part of the uniform & presented a professional image of authority. Times have changed. Not many people wear that type of hat any more. They didn't wear vest back then either.
Later,
WNTFW
WNTFW is offline  
Old November 28, 2007, 05:29 PM   #8
jmwyles
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2007
Posts: 9
Bus driver hat

If you have never worn one you can't imagine how uncomfortable they are. When you take it off you have a crease in your forehead where the hat was riding. They are normally only used in class A uniforms for ceremonial duties.
jmwyles is offline  
Old November 28, 2007, 05:39 PM   #9
Manedwolf
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 28, 2007
Posts: 3,266
They wear the octagon hat all the time here in NH.

I guess they've gone informal elsewhere?
Manedwolf is offline  
Old November 28, 2007, 06:35 PM   #10
sw_florida
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2007
Location: In the shadow
Posts: 526
What's wrong with an officer with curly hair, smelling good, with a smart UZI on his hip? Willing to serve. Hu?
sw_florida is offline  
Old November 28, 2007, 07:42 PM   #11
BillCA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,087
Ahhh... the hat.

The one that you wear year round. In summer, you sweat like crazy inside the hat, making your hair wet or at least oily by the end of the shift.

In the fall & spring, you put the rain cover on, stand in traffic while the water sluices down the hat to the rear... right down the back of your neck. :barf:

In the winter, it keeps heat in, but once you get really bad weather, ice forms from the moist heat.

Like Capn Charlie said, they're the first thing to fall off in a fight or foot pursuit. On days with gusty winds, they can be a distraction as they try to fly away. In the squad car, you have to have a place for it lest you end up sitting on it. All too often you spend money on a spare hat, extra money on dry cleaning a suspect's footprints out of it or replacing it if the bill was trashed during a fight.

The "Mountie" hat (or Smokey bear, DI or Campaign hat) was better in rainy weather as it really kept water off your head. They were also different than what most agencies wore too. But these were also fast to fall off despite the head band in the back and in a wind... well you've seen a frisbee in flight.

I personally like the look a hat imparts to an officer's appearance. The round police hat looks better than the 8-point hat, IMO and the "Mountie" hat can be intimidating (or a reminder of how much you hated your D.I. in the service ).

It used to be that police officers wore ties (clip-on ties for certain) during the cooler months. Nowadays, some agencies permit officers to wear a jumpsuit and baseball cap in the winter which, to me, looks too "Ninja".
__________________
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
Old November 28, 2007, 08:19 PM   #12
Rob Pincus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Hotels
Posts: 3,677
I did PM CC to let him know that there is a bit of tactical concern, here is what I sent him for everyone's consideration:

Quote:
You closed the thread before I got to respond... there actually IS a tactical concern with the police hats things... We've seen videos of cops reaching to secure their hats after being swung at, shoved, etc.....

The hat, as noted, used to be an issue of professionalism and it was so driven into recruits in some agencies that they tried to "protect" their hats during critical incidents!

Just an FYI...... thought you'd find it interesting.
Rob Pincus is offline  
Old November 28, 2007, 08:33 PM   #13
Capt Charlie
Staff
 
Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Steubenville, OH
Posts: 4,309
And, my reply to Rob .

Quote:
Hats. I hate the damned things (at least our 8-point "taxi driver" hats). I'm the only guy in the history of my department to be suspended for not wearing my hat . It happened in 1982, back when our chief was an old school, ex-Marine officer. Hard core spit & polish.

Shortly thereafter, we went on a call in which boyfriend decided to slice & dice girlfriend with a butcher knife. We arrived in the middle of his 44th cut (amazingly, she survived), and the place looked like a scene out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Blood everywhere, and we're slipping and sliding in it trying to get this guy in cuffs.

We're covered in blood, trying to get him out to a cruiser with him fighting every inch of the way, and girlfriend's kin shows up. All 10 of 'em. A real three-ring nightmare circus.

Now, while all this is going on, said chief drives up on scene. Ya think he'd jump out & give us a hand? Nope. Maybe say something like "good job, guys"? Nope again. What he said was "Where's your &#%$ hats? You're all on report!"

Now before I joined the PD, I spent some years as a back country ranger at Grand Canyon NP. We wore those WWI Smokey the Bear campaign hats. They make great kites . Mine happened to blow off while I was riding mounted patrol on the park's greenest horse. It landed right on his face. I landed right on the ground.

See why I don't like hats?
__________________
TFL Members are ambassadors to the world for firearm owners. What kind of ambassador does your post make you?

I train in earnest, to do the things that I pray in earnest, I'll never have to do.

--Capt. Charlie
Capt Charlie is offline  
Old November 28, 2007, 08:34 PM   #14
Steve in PA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 1999
Location: Northeastern PA
Posts: 603
Wearing no hat, or something as simple as a ball cap is alot more functional than puting on a regular hat.
__________________
Steve
Steve in PA is offline  
Old November 29, 2007, 07:01 AM   #15
tegemu
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2005
Location: Orange Park, Fla
Posts: 1,019
Military short hair is also in case of a head wound there is less liklihood of wound contamination and infection.
__________________
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell
tegemu is offline  
Old November 29, 2007, 08:38 AM   #16
FM12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 5, 2007
Location: Monroeville, Alabama
Posts: 1,606
As one of my partners showed me on one occasion, they can be used in what he called "the hat trick".

We were dispatched to a domestic call, with the dad possibly armed. We went inside and found the guy in bed, and could see the end of the barrel of a rifle.

Unnoticed by me, my partner had taken out his revolver and conceled it with, of all things, his hat!

As soon as we got in the bedroom and saw the rifle barrel, partner simply raises his revo and has Mr. Suspect already covered.

In the worst event he could have simply shot thru the hat, which he held about waist level with the revolver pointed at our suspect.

Had my partner's .38 not been needed, he simply re-holsters, and no one (usually) is the wiser.

Hate them hats, though. Hate 'em!

Last edited by FM12; November 29, 2007 at 08:39 AM. Reason: speling
FM12 is offline  
Old November 29, 2007, 09:51 AM   #17
Spade Cooley
Junior member
 
Join Date: June 24, 2007
Posts: 296
I never cared much for the hat and we had a devil of a time getting officers to wear them on the street. They don't provide any protection from the sun on the face and as we age skin cancer is the result. The Smokey the Bear hats at least provide protection when you are outside in the hot sun directing traffic.

The one thing the police hat does provide is recognition. What are the most recognizable parts of a police uniform? The hat with cap piece and the badge. I believe the recognition of the police officer by these symbols has saved many an officer. Wearing the hat leaves no doubt that a suspect is looknig at a police officer. On the other end, it gives the bad guy a nice target.
Spade Cooley is offline  
Old November 29, 2007, 12:20 PM   #18
TwoXForr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 26, 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 464
I wear glasses and I wear ball caps when it rains to keep the glasses dry. The Taxi Driver hats don't have enough of a bill to keep my glasses dry. Bit of a pain if you ask me.
__________________
All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.
TwoXForr is offline  
Old November 29, 2007, 12:48 PM   #19
Polydorus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 5, 2005
Posts: 144
How about the cost issue? The ball caps looks considerably cheaper than either Taxi Driver or Smokey the Bear style.
Polydorus is offline  
Old November 29, 2007, 01:07 PM   #20
MD_Willington
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 17, 2005
Location: SE WA State.
Posts: 563
Funny thing, here in the States you guys fought to get rid of the hats, while where I'm from, the Sikhs in the RCMP fought to wear a turban instead of a hat...
MD_Willington is offline  
Old November 29, 2007, 02:44 PM   #21
Erik
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 1999
Location: America
Posts: 3,479
Back in the day, everyone wore hats. These days, almost nobody does. The exception is baseball and cowboy hats which corresponds, one may argue, as to why these are found in greater rates than the more traditional offerings on the heads of officers.
__________________
Meriam Webster's: Main Entry: ci·vil·ian Pronunciation: \sə-ˈvil-yən also -ˈvi-yən\, Function: noun, Date: 14th century, 1: a specialist in Roman or modern civil law, 2 a: one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force b: outsider 1, — civilian adjective
Erik is offline  
Old November 29, 2007, 03:08 PM   #22
Slopemeno
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 19, 2007
Posts: 2,347
The "garrison" caps idea it to be a recognizeable piece of headgear.
Slopemeno is offline  
Old December 1, 2007, 07:04 PM   #23
workinwifdakids
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 216
A retired police officer says (hearsay, no attribution) that the older hats - aside from looking more professional - allowed an officer to distinguish between officers and others in the dark, when turning on a flashlight may not be the best idea. Don't respond to me; I didn't make the assertion, and don't particularly care. This is just what someone told me.
__________________
"Lieutenant Onoda, reporting for duty, Sir!"
workinwifdakids is offline  
Old December 1, 2007, 09:46 PM   #24
Manedwolf
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 28, 2007
Posts: 3,266
It could be worse...

Manedwolf is offline  
Old December 1, 2007, 11:02 PM   #25
clem
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 17, 2001
Location: Arizona Territory
Posts: 847
The British Bobby hat is actually a "light" helmet. And it offers a degree of impact protection for the head.
clem is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13003 seconds with 7 queries