The Kearney/Buffalo County Sheriff's Departments Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association presented KPD with a check for $1,000 Wednesday. That money will be used to buy baseball-style caps for all 57 sworn officers.
That hats will have "Kearney Police" over the front in white writing. They'll be part of officer's formal uniforms.
"We have so much public support in this city. It is truly unlike most cities," said Lt. Jason Koetters, Kearney Police Department. "Some of the major pieces of equipment that we have have been donated by people from the public who simply care about law enforcement and care about their community. It is huge for our department."
Currently, police are wearing traditional service hats. Koetters said they tend to get hot and are heavy, making them less than ideal for daily patrols.
Koetters said the new caps will be more comfortable for officers. They're a lighter weight, and will protect them from the elements, specifically the sun. He said they'll also be another way for people to identify officers wile they're out in the field.
"I think it makes us approachable. We recently switched to the external vest carrier. For the officer it's easier to move around during the day, and I think these hats will do the same thing. It's just more functional to be out in the field rather than the old Class A type uniforms that police have traditionally worn," Koetters said.
When the Alumni Association heard KPD had these caps on their wish lists, they started raising money through the Kearney Community Foundation's annual Give Where You Live campaign.
"When we graduated from that we wanted to continue with that experience somewhat, and this is one way we decided to do it," said Richard McGinnis, president of the Alumni Association. "We thought we could pay back what law enforcement did for us through the citizens police academy by helping them after the fact."
The Alumni Association also donated $800 to the Kearney's Children Museum to vamp up their KPD exhibit.
KPD officers won't completely stop wearing their traditional hats. They'll still wear them for formal events, such as funerals and parades. The caps will be for daily operations.
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