Has any thought been given to a flight suit? Before you scoff and say the 90’s want their uniform back hear me out.
-DRMO likely has tons of these for free, leaving your budget for good cold weather gear or good helmets and kit.
-The military ones will be nomex which from a safety standpoint is a huge deal especially if deploying NFDD’s, explosive breaching, or if clandestine labs fall in your wheel house.
-Flight suits go over pretty much anything if you get them big. Call outs are random by nature and assuming you aren’t sitting around the house in kit staring at your phone waiting for the call, you’re going to have guys responding in all kinds of clothing. Ideally they would change before responding but we’ve all been out and about when the call comes. Being able to slip a flight suit on over gym clothes, court attire, patrol uniform or whatever else makes life easy. The media in my AO has taken pics of tactical officers changing on the scenes of calls and complaints from citizens have been generated.
-Decon is a breeze. Simply take off the flight suit and you’re pretty much there. Few things suck as much as driving home from a SWAT call covered in chemical munitions because you don’t have a change of clothes. I’ve had a few sets of uniforms ruined from blood(not mine) which sucks.
Are there better and more sexy options? Of course, but at what cost? If you’re a full time team living in these things then find the money and buy the best. If SWAT is a collateral duty buying Crye uniforms for the occasional activation probably isn’t the best.
By the way I’ve worn Crye, Arc’teryx, First Tactical, Tru Spec, 5.11, and flight suits over several years of K9 work. K9 around here is a part of Tactical so if not running the dog running a rifle. Of those uniforms I never tore a set of Crye or Arc’teryx uniforms in normal use. Turns out nothing is Malinois proof. First tactical, Tru Spec, and 5.11 had a very short life cycle as the seams and fabric seemed to go pretty fast. Flight suits held up well and would eventually break but there was a closet full of them so I didn’t usually care. By choice I typically ran Crye stuff but always had a couple of flight suits in the car just in case.
sorry for the long post, just trying to offer a less sexy option that’s not typically thought of.