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Uniforms Control Crowds: A Look at Security and Law Enforcement

Jan 29, 2008
Its strange, but most people identify, respect and react to security uniforms. In most cases, individuals are taught at an early age about the civil service men and women that work in countries. Fire department, post office and police department personnel all wear uniforms. Students are taught that the law enforcers and peace keepers all wear uniforms. They are well aware of what the role of a police officer or security officer is and are taught that these occupations of authority are to be respected. Its little wonder then, that we are automatically programmed to respect and behave in the presence of these uniformed personnel.

The advantages of uniforms are numerous. They are worn as a mark of solidarity towards a cause or an organization, depending on the profession, they sometimes reflect rank and they are also helpful in providing some form of protective characteristics to the wearer. One additional component of the uniform is to make a person instantly identifiable and recognizable in his profession. If his profession is one of authority or law enforcement, then it sometimes can be used to calm a volatile situation without the use of any excessive force. Such is the characteristic of security uniforms.

In neighborhoods that are prone to gang violence or crime, the mere presence of a police patrol car with uniformed police officers is sufficient to reduce if not eradicate problems. The fear or doubt that is placed in the mind of a perpetrator can be sufficient to dissuade him from committing a crime. Similarly, in situations where there are large crowds with aggressive temperaments, the presence of uniformed police officers or security officers is sufficient to keep any violence from escalating. The advantages are clearly very obvious. There can be needless loss of life or injury if such respect towards authoritative personnel or security uniforms was absent. Its a force all on its own.

Symbolism plays a large role in our lives. Security uniforms draw heavily on this symbolism to help foster feelings of respect for authority figures or law enforcers. This symbolism is very powerful in controlling outbreaks of violence during tense or volatile situations. It may be this symbolism that protects the lives of the law enforcers when they go out into the world to do their dangerous jobs. As much as it is worn for other reasons, it is undeniable that the uniform itself is an integral part of our law enforcement and security infrastructures today.
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