Taiwan Police Uniform Design 30 Years Old: Time for Change

[Cover Picture from NPA Facebook page. Chinese reads: “New era, new police service”]

Taiwan’s National Police Administration (NPA) has invited boots on the ground police officers, textile and clothing designers, and experts and scholars in related fields to participate in designing new uniforms for the nation’s police officers.

The NPA convened a meeting on March 31 to instigate the research phase of a plan to update uniforms that were designed 30 years ago. A post on the NPA Facebook page provides a link to a Google Docs form where working police officers and “other” can provide input on new designs for caps, shirts, vests, jackets, pants, shoes, and badges.

The NPA Facebook page asks (in Chinese) “Have you ever thought that the uniform we wear every day could be more flexible and more fitting to the job requirements of the police?”

The current police uniform was introduced in 1988, just one year after a 38-year period of martial law was rescinded. During the martial law period police officers wore uniforms that resembled military uniforms. After martial law was lifted, the design of police uniforms in Taiwan was changed to reflect the change from martial law to civil law enforcement.

Police responding to the NPA Facebook post complained that materials used in current uniforms were of poor quality and sometimes uncomfortable. Material stuck to the skin when sweating in hot weather, and the material easily creased. Uniforms were sometimes ill fitting and baggy. When on the streets, enforcing the law, the uniforms didn’t give them a feeling of dignity appropriate for their position.

While uniforms are provided from the public purse every year, many officers choose to have uniforms tailor-made at their own expense.

On the subject of shoes, some police complained of shoes being uncomfortable and not suitable for chasing offenders. They hope shoes can be changed to tactical boots or sneakers.

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