Police Uniform

sfoster

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This has got to be a common thing, but I can't find a thread on it.
Does anyone here have a guide for putting together a cheap police uniform?

I talked to my cop friend and his radio is like $5,000.
I don't want to borrow that for a shoot
 
You can find forum posts about this if you Google "Rick Grimes sheriff costume," as for a regular non-sheriff costume, you need a black dress shirt and pants to start out. Unless of course you get a leather jacket and jeans and go for the 70s detective look. Of course, even a regular suit could cover the modern day detective look.
 

sfoster

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I'm looking more for a patrolman.
I'm think it would be navy blue not black.

Something like from End of Watch
 
Can you cast your cop friend in the role? Might have to cover up any department-specific logos/names but that way you wouldn't have to worry about borrowing stuff.
 
It shouldn't be difficult. I simply googled 'Cheap Police Uniform' and got half a dozen costume/apparel websites that'll put together a good looking outfit for under $100 or so... In all honesty, it looks like most of the sites sell you the individual components - which comprise pretty simply of navy/black clothing. The 'cop' look is less the clothing, and more the badge, belt, boots, etc.

http://www.uniformswarehouse.com/prostores/servlet/StoreFront
http://www.keeprs.com/osCommerce/police-uniforms-mens-c-244_124_140.html
http://www.chiefsupply.com/apparel/
https://www.atlantictactical.com/category/apparel-uniforms


EDIT: Another random idea - go to an Army Surplus store. They'll have everything you need, and it shouldn't be too expensive. I went in one awhile back with my Marine buddy - I was incredibly surprised at the kind of crap they sell (Pretty much everything - it's like the armed forces (Of everything, even, and especially the Confederacy...) meets your local flea market.
 
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sfoster

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Can you cast your cop friend in the role? Might have to cover up any department-specific logos/names but that way you wouldn't have to worry about borrowing stuff.
No, this is a very demanding role I have to play myself, but I am going to ask him to be my patrol partner so that I don't have to purchase a second uniform :yes:

BeatlesFan - right it's easy to find stuff for clothes. I was hoping someone might have put this together before and would know a cheaper way to do things. I'm on a really tight budget.

The army surplus store is a good idea, I'm going to look into that, thanks!
 
I was hoping someone might have put this together before and would know a cheaper way to do things. I'm on a really tight budget.
Sometimes guerrilla filmmaking requires some outside-the-box thinking. You know anyone planning a bachelorette party? You could always book a male stripper to do a cop routine, then as soon as he rips his uniform off grab it and run...
 

sfoster

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Sometimes guerrilla filmmaking requires some outside-the-box thinking. You know anyone planning a bachelorette party? You could always book a male stripper to do a cop routine, then as soon as he rips his uniform off grab it and run...
A solid plan. I will work on my jetpack for the getaway, since strippers exercise for a living and can likely outrun me
 

DeJager

Member
It shouldn't be difficult. I simply googled 'Cheap Police Uniform' and got half a dozen costume/apparel websites that'll put together a good looking outfit for under $100 or so... In all honesty, it looks like most of the sites sell you the individual components - which comprise pretty simply of navy/black clothing. The 'cop' look is less the clothing, and more the badge, belt, boots, etc.

http://www.uniformswarehouse.com/prostores/servlet/StoreFront
http://www.keeprs.com/osCommerce/police-uniforms-mens-c-244_124_140.html
http://www.chiefsupply.com/apparel/
https://www.atlantictactical.com/category/apparel-uniforms


EDIT: Another random idea - go to an Army Surplus store. They'll have everything you need, and it shouldn't be too expensive. I went in one awhile back with my Marine buddy - I was incredibly surprised at the kind of crap they sell (Pretty much everything - it's like the armed forces (Of everything, even, and especially the Confederacy...) meets your local flea market.
We just purchased uniforms for a whole police force using Uniforms Ware House and Chief Supply. Uniforms Ware House is by the cheapest!! The rest of the things we purchased from Amazon.
 

sfoster

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Does anyone have any examples of what the badges actually say in various films?

Or do they all get police permission
 
You mean things like the department, etc? I'd say it varies - for close-ups I'd guess they use real, or very close replicas, which will be slightly different for every city. Generally they have the city/county/etc, rank, department/branch, and a badge number, plus there's often the appropriate state seal.

There are a few generic shapes that are common though, so for stuff that's just part of a detail on a costume you probably just need to get the appropriate shape.

Start here for some examples:

https://www.google.com/search?q=police+badge&tbm=isch

Also - most badge places will probably want to see ID if you're ordering anything that appears to be a real badge for a law enforcement agency. You may have to stick with a generic security badge, or else get a prop replica from a character in a movie or something.
 
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sfoster

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You mean things like the department, etc? I'd say it varies - for close-ups I'd guess they use real, or very close replicas, which will be slightly different for every city. Generally they have the city/county/etc, rank, department/branch, and a badge number, plus there's often the appropriate state seal.

There are a few generic shapes that are common though, so for stuff that's just part of a detail on a costume you probably just need to get the appropriate shape.

Start here for some examples:

https://www.google.com/search?q=police+badge&tbm=isch

Also - most badge places will probably want to see ID if you're ordering anything that appears to be a real badge for a law enforcement agency. You may have to stick with a generic security badge, or else get a prop replica from a character in a movie or something.
Yeah all the custom badge places seem really particular about wording and say you can't use police, etc. But I discovered on amazon you can buy badges that say special police and stuff like that.

I also discovered this on a police forum

I hink you would have a problem with is if you were trying to reporduce a badge that exists and is being used by a police department. For example, it is against the law to purchase a NYPD as it is trademarked and if not made by the original manufactuer, you own a fake, a crime. Plus, the original manufacturer will only issue the badged with permission of the NYPD who tells you what # you can have and then tracks who has them and for how long, etc....
plenty of patches that you can order off ebay though for different departments .. hmm

FWIW when this is all finished I will post my itemized list of purchases and a photo of me as a cop.
 

SixOhThree

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There are definitely legality issues when using real department insignia. Scorsese famously had to change the Massachusetts State Police logo in The Departed when the commonwealth wouldn't license it.
 

sfoster

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There are definitely legality issues when using real department insignia. Scorsese famously had to change the Massachusetts State Police logo in The Departed when the commonwealth wouldn't license it.
Well crap.

That makes it a lot more complicated if I need to design a custom police logo, instead of just buying a rochestor police patch to sew into the shoulder. They have real ones for sale on ebay

Damn all this red tape.. I will call the MD film board next week
 
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sfoster

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I was just looking for an update. What happened with your uniform requirement?
I called the MD film board twice.
Both times I was told the person I needed to talk to was out of the office.

I need to finish the police uniform still.
Been updating the script instead.

One thing I might do is buy an existing patch and then alter it + a fake city name. Easier than scratch and no longer infringement. Once I finish this pass on the script it'll be back to the officer uniform.

Hopefully I can start filming in march or april
 

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