Campus cops prepare for wardrobe change
The OCCC police department is looking forward to a change of uniform very soon, said campus Police Chief Jim Fitzpatrick. The uniform design and patches recently won approval from the college Board of Regents.
As OCCC transitions to a campus police force, commissioned police officers will have a uniform that distinguishes them from armed security guards, who will continue to make up part of the college’s law enforcement team.
The officers do not have to pay for the new uniform, Fitzpatrick said. They will be provided by OCCC.
College police officers will wear dark navy blue trousers and gray shirts. They will wear a badge and patch that show they are part of a police force.
“People will see me in a uniform as soon as I have the materials to put it together and put it on,” Fitzpatrick said. So far, Fitzpatrick is the only commissioned police officer on the force. Other officers will be commissioned right before the beginning of the fall semester.
“The difference that you will see is that the campus police officers will have a dark navy blue pant instead of the black currently worn by the armed security officers,” he said. “The campus police officers will have a gray uniform shirt in contrast to the silver tan that you currently see with the armed security officers.
“I think everyone felt that it was important to have people readily recognize the difference between the campus police and the armed security officers,” Fitzpatrick said.
College administrators made the decision to go to the gray and navy blue.
The patch worn by commissioned police officers will take the shape of a dark blue shield with wide bands of red outlining the borders and running across the center. The words “campus” and “police” will appear in white on the red border, framing the college logo on the blue field. Blue lettering on the red border will say “Oklahoma City Community College.”
The design is basically the same as the patch worn by armed security officers. Just the wording and colors are changed.
Although the color scheme of the uniform has changed, they are staying close to the uniform people are familiar with.
“Actually, we are staying very close to the current design,” Fitzpatrick said. “The shirts and how they are constructed are pretty much the same. It’s going to be a typical uniform shirt that you commonly see with police, fire, and other emergency services.”
It took a collaborative effort in order to choose the color scheme and style of the uniforms. Fitzpatrick said he wanted his whole staff to be involved in the process.
“I asked them to help me and give me suggestions,” Fitzpatrick said. “So they have had a lot of input into the actual uniform, especially the patch and the badge that are going to be used by the campus police officers.”
This is not the first time the OCCC campus security officers have changed their uniforms. The uniform has actually gone through many different changes in the past.
“When I started here, we were in a white shirt and navy blue trousers,” said Major Keith Bourque, coordinator of Safety and Security who has been at OCCC for many years. “We then progressed to a French blue shirt with navy blue trousers.”
“About five years ago, we went to the silver tan and black,” he said. “Now the security officers are going to stay in the same uniform, with just a few modifications.”