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Fashion police: Minneapolis SWAT redesigns uniforms to soften its image

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SWAT teams are kinda scary. They're geared up with bulky vests, shields, and helmets, and armed to the teeth. 

Hollywood tells us that local police departments looking like military is the first step to the government corralling our children in a televised arena where they fight to the death for food. Nationwide, people are asking whether that whole soldier get-up is really working.

The Minneapolis Police Department is trying to get ahead of the criticism. Chief Janee Harteau and the commander of the Special Operations and Intelligence Division made the decision to soften the public image of the city's SWAT force by switching their main color from a camouflage green to a dark blue that'll match better with all the regular officers. 

"This small step demonstrates the MPD's willingness to proactively address public concerns in a manner that continues to protect our officers, but also works to improve the perception of our department by the public," according to an MPD news release. 

The department hasn't settled on a vendor for the new uniforms yet, but spokesman Scott Seroka says the makeover will cost less than $50,000 for about 60 officers. 

The change will hopefully help citizens recognize SWAT officers as police, and not military, according to the MPD. Probably not a good idea to ask these guys for baseball cards though. They're still called on for high risk situations and will get to carry military weapons like tear gas and rifles.