Michigan State Police Switching Back To Classic Hats

DETROIT (WWJ) – Beginning Thursday, Michigan State Police officers will be donning new hats — that were last worn almost a century ago.

Over the years, there was discussion about switching back to a Campaign-style hat, which was worn by the original enforcement members of the Michigan State Police until the early 1920s. It’s a black straw hat with the traditional four-dents and an extra stiff brim.

An infantry detachment of Troop 3 assigned to guard the Grand Trunk Railroad Tunnel from Port Huron to Sarnia in 1917. (credit: MSP)

An infantry detachment of Troop 3 assigned to guard the Grand Trunk Railroad Tunnel from Port Huron to Sarnia in 1917. (credit: MSP)

The change comes just in time for MSP’s 100th Anniversary.

“MSP, as you can tell from our patrol cars with the single-bubble light and the traditional state police blue coloring, we’re very fond of our traditions,” said MSP First Lt. Michael Shaw. “And we thought that this was one way to celebrate not only the past, but we’re looking to the future because we can pay homage to those troopers who came before us and wear the hats they wore back in the 1920’s.”

The new hat includes a strap that goes around the back of the head.

“The strap on them helps them stay more snug than the hats that we’re used to wearing. We used to have the [old] hats blow off a lot when you’re on the freeway and things like that. The way that the straps work on these particularly style hats, hopefully they won’t blow off as easily as the other ones did,” said Shaw.

Major Roy C. Vandercook (He would become our first Director) as state adjutant general during the 1913-1914 Cooper Strike in the U.P. (credit: MSP)

Major Roy C. Vandercook (He would become our first Director) as state adjutant general during the 1913-1914 Cooper Strike in the U.P. (credit: MSP)

The MSP is one of only six state police agencies that did not wear a Campaign hat.

Similar to the current hats, the new hats include a black braid, sergeants get a silver braid and lieutenants and above a gold braid. Shaw said hat badges are being reused on the Campaign-style hat.

They will first be introduced on Dec. 22, 2016 with the graduation of the 131st trooper recruit school.

More from Zahra Huber
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