Campus special police show off new uniform


Photo by Mary Kane

Officer Duane Gottschalk says he likes the professional look of AACC’s new uniforms for special police.

Michael Garvey, Newsroom Manager

AACC public safety officers received new uniforms in February to increase comfort and safety.

Campus special police officers ditched their white shirts and upgraded to a wash-and-wear LAPD blue. Armed police officers will continue to wear light blue shirts.

“A lot of police departments have gone away from the white shirts,” Chief Sean Kapfhammer said. “Some people say it makes [officers] more of a target.”

The darker color allows officers to better track crime suspects in the woods or at night without being spotted, Officer First Class Duane Gottschalk said.

“The white uniform made us stand out like a sore thumb,” Gottschalk said.

The new uniforms include an exterior bullet-resistant vest designed to mirror the look of traditional collared dress shirts with breast pockets, creases and a button-up center.

“They are a great new addition to the department,” Gottschalk said. “They have a nice professional look. … Having the vest on the outside [of our shirts] is so much more comfortable.”

Previously, officers wore their bullet-resistant vests under their uniform shirts. Officers are now able to remove the vest on hot days without having to take off their shirts first.

“In the summertime, if they’re writing a report and they want to cool down, they can take off the exterior [vest] without having to take everything off,” Kapfhammer said. “They can cool down, put it back on and go back into the field.”

The new uniforms took about a year to arrive because of high demand as more police departments ordered exterior vests.

The department paid for the new shirts with its yearly uniform fund, which usually goes toward uniform replacements as old clothing wears out.

“It really didn’t cost the college anything, per se,” Kapfhammer said.

“All in all, it’s a way better uniform,” Gottschalk said. “I love it. We usually have pretty good equipment working at the college. We are very fortunate to have this stuff.”