OPP officers were recently notified by headquarters that an issued uniform baseball cap is now an acceptable piece of their uniform.
Orillia OPP Const. Ted Dongelmans said this is a change that frontline officers have been lobbying for over the past several years.
“Officers liked the idea of the convenience and the ease of use. It’s not as bulky, it’s easy to wear, and it’s more practical when officers enter unknown situations,” Dongelmans said.
“A lot of frontline officers were really happy to see the implementation.”
Officers are already transitioning to the baseball cap as a piece of their everyday uniforms.
“From what I’ve seen, many officers have already started wearing a ball cap predominantly. I would say most officers have started wearing the ball cap exclusively,” he said.
While officers are enjoying the new caps, there are some restrictions around it being a temporary part of their uniform.
“For formal events, we do have to wear the peak cap (as) ball caps are deemed unacceptable at those types of events.”
While frontline officers had been advocating for the baseball cap for years, Dongelmans couldn’t say what took so long for the change to occur.
“I don’t know what the resistance was prior to. It didn’t make sense to me why we couldn’t wear ball caps,” he said.
Many other police services across North America have been wearing baseball cap for years.
“Other services have implemented ball caps over the years, and we have seen other evolutions to our uniform and our equipment over time,” Dongelmans said.
“We went from wearing a Sam Browne leather holster with one strap to wearing a modern Stage 3 holster. A lot of pieces of our uniform over the years have evolved, and this is a part of that.”