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Police planning uniform change

| Monday, Aug. 27, 2001

The long arm of Avalon's law will be wearing new shirtsleeves soon.

After decades of the commonly recognized gray uniforms, the Avalon Police Department will be shifting to new duds within a two-year period.

So far, only the style of the uniforms has been selected, not the color. The color choice will be black or blue.

While police Chief Robert Howie said he does not think the public will react to the new uniforms, some council members were wary that residents accustomed to seeing the police in gray might confuse officers in the new uniforms for police impersonators.

Councilman Ed Repp said during a meeting Tuesday that all the publicity about recent police impersonators still is fresh in people's minds.

Howie, however, said he does not think residents will worry.

'I don't think people are going to notice,' he said.

The reason for the uniform change, Howie said, is one of practicality.

'These are more comfortable, less expensive and easier to maintain,' he said.

Borough officials said another reason for the switch is the fact that there is only one uniform dealer left that deals in gray uniforms.

That scarcity has made the gray uniforms very expensive to purchase. As a result, the borough will switch to black or blue.

Currently, the police could buy about three new uniforms for the cost of one gray uniform.

Mark Berton can be reached at mberton@tribweb.com or (724) 779-7108.

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