Uniforms have gone through several changes in design and are often patterned after military uniforms. They usually use the traditional designs and colors established in the past, although colors vary by region. Hats are a particularly crucial part of the uniform, because the hat gives off important image cuts. In addition, different hats may be appropriate for different kinds of duty. Most police administrators surveyed believe that only officers on routine patrol need to be uniformed. Factors that a department should consider in choosing a uniform include the image to be conveyed to the public, the price in relation to the quality, the suitability of the fabric to the weather, ease of cleaning, and whether the uniform will be used for general or specialized duty. The Los Angeles Police Department is considered one of the best dressed police departments in the United States and received a award in 1986 for its uniforms. Photographs.