— Just wondering
As the tradition of wearing hats faded in America, many law enforcement agencies stopped requiring hats as a part of officers’ day-to-day uniforms.
However, Oregon State Police troopers have continued to wear hats, even when out on patrol.
Capt. Timothy Fox, OSP spokesman, said the hats have a practical purpose because they help shield troopers from sun and rain.
In addition, he said, the hats are a tradition and make those wearing them readily distinguishable as OSP troopers.
According to the OSP website history page, troopers didn’t always wear their trademark headgear, which looks a bit like a cowboy hat with a flat brim. That style of hat is called a campaign hat.
Troopers of the past wore hats that looked more like old-fashioned police hats. The campaign hat made a brief appearance in the 1940s, then made a comeback and became standard issue in 1972, according to OSP.
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