HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Police Chief Jeffrey Hooper believes there are many ways besides law enforcement that the Hutchinson Police can help the community. That was underscored Friday when police officers delivered large bags of uniforms to the Hutchinson Salvation Army.
When police recently changed from green and tan uniforms to blue shirts and pants, the transition presented an opportunity to share with those in need, older clothing, most of which still have a good lifespan left. “We wanted to reuse a number of the older uniforms for our new police service aids, by having those ten new part-time employees wear then while on duty,” said Hooper. A supply was then retailed for future use.
“But we still have a significant number of shorts and pants that we didn’t want to throw away because they can go to a good cause to help those less fortunate,” according to Hooper.
Officers brought several dozen uniforms, minus patches and other police markings, to the Salvation Army for reuse in other communities.
Both the police department and the Salvation Army decided against giving them away locally because of concerns about someone trying to impersonate an officer, something that occasionally has happened.
The Salvation Army Thrift Store at B and Main agreed to take the uniforms and ship them to their Kansas City distribution center. They’ll be given away, sold at low prices to the less fortunate or taken overseas where the clothing doesn’t seem to have the same meaning as in the United States. The Salvation Army also sells bundles of used clothing and receives funds for a variety of assistance programs.
“We see it as a win/win situation where we get rid of items no longer needed, but they eventually go to help others,” said Hooper. “It’s a good investment of taxpayer assets rather than having the uniforms scrapped and go to the local landfill.”