KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The women police officers at the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety got updated uniforms Wednesday afternoon.
Chief Karianne Thomas said they tried on police pants custom-made just for women.
It's the first time in her 27-year career that this happened, she said.
“It’s one of the most exciting days,” Chief Thomas said during an interview with FOX 17. “When they said ‘we have female pants.’ And I go ‘yeah right I’ve heard this before.’ But then they brought them in and they went through it and it’s the only thing they make and it’s true, had other female officers try them on, we said ‘yeah, we’re sold.’"
Dozens of women police officers were in a meeting room at headquarters, being measured for pants which came in three different fits — streamlined, defined, balanced — and in 30 sizes. They were created by Her Blue Wear, which makes police pants specifically for women.
“As a gender we add a lot to this profession.,” Chief Thomas said. “But one of the things we have to put up with is the uniforms are made for men. And they’ve always been made for men.”
Chief Thomas said of the 249 officers at KDPS, 31 are women. Many of them tried on pants. And the moment Chief Thomas heard about this company and created the sizing event, she called other police departments in the county and asked that their women officers attend too.
“It’s nice to be recognized, that there’s a market for this,” Chief Thomas said. “And the market’s growing, which is incredible right? Which means more women are entering this profession than ever before. That we’re now big enough to create a market and have our own pants.”