Conn. State's Troopers Named Nation's Best-Dressed
LITCHFIELD, Conn. -- They didn''t exactly strut their stuff on a catwalk, but several state troopers based at Troop L modeled their award-winning uniforms at their barracks on Route 202 Friday.
It''s no secret women love a man in uniform and the uniforms of the Connecticut state police are the tops -- in the country.
That''s according to the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors, which named the 2004 winner of the best dressed law enforcement department -- state agency. It''s the third time, and the second in a decade, Connecticut troopers have been bestowed this honor.
They''ll be featured in the association''s magazine later this month.
"A lot of police officers and fire personnel take pride in their uniforms," said Master Sgt. Bill Baldwin. "To have a national magazine recognize you as the best dressed gives the agency a sense of pride. It let''s us know we look sharp."
Still, when it comes to uniforms, Connecticut troopers opt for practicality over panache.
"We look at durability, practicality and all that good stuff," Lt. Mark Sticca said.
When selecting its winners, the National Association of Manufacturers and Distributors looks for overall appearance, neatness, projection of authority, practicality for designated functions and adherence to uniform regulations. Judges were taken with both the summer and winter attire worn by the troopers in this state.
On the practicality side, their winter shirts are 100 percent wool to keep the cold out and the summer shirts are 100 percent cotton, which are meant to keep troopers cool in the summer heat.
In its selection of Connecticut''s attire, the association said it particularly liked the royal blue epaulets on the dress shirts, the uniform''s gold brass buttons and the royal blue ties officers wear with their gray shirts. Troopers don''t wear ties with the summer short sleeve shirts, on which they''re allowed to keep the top button undone, Sticca noted. The officers also have waterproof parkas and jackets, as needed, and a fur felt trooper hat.
Troopers Friday modeled all of their uniforms and accessories with the exception of the short-sleeve shirt.
Department members were unsure what company currently manufactures the uniforms because the department often changes vendors because of cost, Sticca said. One thing''s for sure: they''re not designed by Armani, Versace or even Tommy Hilfiger, but the price would almost suggest otherwise.
"From head to toe, this is probably about $500 or $600," Sticca said of his uniform.
Connecticut state police first won the best-dressed award in 1985. That same year, they changed their patches from the shape of the state of Connecticut to the shape of a bell, Sticca said.
After winning the award in 1995, the state added a little more class to the uniforms, changing from blue name tags with white lettering to shiny, gold name tags.
Although Detective Scott Syriac modeled one of the state trooper jackets, he said he''s not exactly a fashion maven.
"My wife lays out my clothes for me every morning or else I wouldn''t be dressed," he joked.
Likewise, trooper Dane Hassan and Sgt. Patrick Malloy, who modeled their uniforms, said supermodel Tyra Banks has nothing to worry about.
"I''m just glad I didn''t have to come out in short sleeves," said Malloy, as he stood outside Troop L''s barracks where it was cold and windy.