After having the same uniform for more than 20 years, the UNL Police Department is changing its look to match school colors.
In the next 30 days, UNLPD officers will start wearing a new uniform with black shirts, pants and ballistic vests. The department patch will also change, from a navy/yellow design with Nebraska’s state seal to a black, red and white version with the University of Nebraska seal.
A committee that included Owen Yardley, chief of police; Todd Duncan, assistant chief; and several officers and community service officers oversaw the uniform update. The committee took about six months to research the new look and form a proposal.
“The uniforms were changed for three main reasons,” Duncan said.
First, the officers wanted to more closely match the UNL color scheme. Also, the manufacturer of the old uniforms recently announced a discontinuation of their police uniform line. And, Duncan said, the department’s old uniforms had become so varied in appearance that they started to lack professionalism.
The cost for new warm weather uniforms is roughly $18,000 for approximately 45 officers. The winter uniforms — which include long-sleeved shirts, coats and stocking — will cost an estimated $8,400.
Exact prices have yet to be determined, as certain items have yet to be ordered. Final costs also depend on variations in ballistic vests.
The new patch design is already featured on the walls of the UNLPD station at 17th and R streets. Duncan said he and fellow officers are excited about the updated look.