The operational Uniform
The current uniform was put into use in the summer of 2016. The development was started in January 2014. The working group that developed the uniform was instructed to ensure that everyone in the operational department could wear the uniform by the end of 2016.
The development has gone extremely fast. The working group, of which I was allowed to be part of as one of the representatives of the future wearers, started by determining the requirements that the uniform had to meet and which the manufacturers had to meet. It was unacceptable that the uniform would be produced in so-called low-wage countries.
After all requirements had been laid down and approved by both the Ministry of Justice and Security and the trade unions, the tender started. Due to the size of this project, the purchase of the uniform had to be put out to a European tender.
Given the number of interested companies that wanted to produce uniform, it became clear that there was still talk of a recession in the clothing industry. Companies that had absolutely no experience in the production of uniforms appeared at the so-called prebid. There was interest from all over Europe to deliver the uniform.
The tender closed in June 2015. Participating companies had to provide so-called samples, as well as a document showing how and where the production would take place. And of course a quote had to be made.
Immediately after the tender was closed, the packages with samples were opened. For the members of the program team it seemed like St Nicholas Eve. It was extremely exciting what items the companies had developed and produced. There appeared to be a big difference in quality and implementation.
The program team made a selection from the various articles and these were then shown to a number of so-called shop sessions to delegate staff from all disciplines. The responses immediately proved very encouraging. They were allowed to fit uniforms. At the end of the shopping session, it was expected that a score form would be filled in, in which advantages and disadvantages would have to be noted and possibly suggestions made, which the manufacturer had to take into account in the subsequent production. This created a uniform that was widely supported by the staff. The roll-out took place per unit, starting with the smallest unit in terms of personnel strength. This allowed the stock to grow during the rollout.
The stocks of the different sizes were based on historical data from the previous uniform. The funny thing was that due to the distribution per unit there were considerable differences in body measurements. Staff in the south of the country turned out to be shorter and more stocky on average than staff in the west of the country. As a result, it initially appeared that major errors had been made when ordering the various sizes.
Because the uniform was initially intended for police officers in the operational service, the uniform was given the name operational uniform. The intention was that senior executives and staff who only provide office services would not be provided with the operational uniform.
The working group succeeded in providing nearly everyone in the operational service with this uniform at the end of 2016.
Then it turned out that a great wish had been expressed among the other staff to also be allowed to wear the operational uniform. Soon after the provision to the operational units, the police force decided that the other personnel would also wear this uniform. Facility support staff are wearing a gray variant.
As mentioned above, a uniform has been developed that has very broad support from staff. Only the polo shirt deserves much improvement. The yellow stripes on the shirt are printed on it. As a result, the fabric does not ventilate where the stripes are located. The imprint does not stretch with the fabric, causing cracks in the imprint. This results in poor-looking shirts.