Kearney designer provides uniforms for 25 police agencies

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KEARNEY, Mo. -- Police officers wouldn't look the same without their uniforms.

For one business in Kearney, keeping the cops dressed is part of their success. That company designs and supplies uniforms for 25 different law enforcement agencies.

Sharon Thomas operates The Armory, which is part police supply store -- part gun range for conceal-and-carry permit holders. Thomas' store has designed police uniforms for the past nine years, when the Jackson County Sheriff's Department asked her to build a uniform that's professional-looking, but more functional than traditional police duds are.

"I listened to what the officers were saying," Thomas said. "They need some more comfortable, something more durable."

And from there, the thread began to spin. Sharon says she grew up poor, and had to sew her own dresses. Now, she's helped design three different models of law enforcement uniform. Some of them are dressy, but others are meant to get dirty.

Thomas said her store works with officers from about 25 different agencies. That includes the Clay County Sheriff's Department, which requires its officers to buy their own uniforms.

"By keeping it with the armory, we're keeping it within Clay County and helping them out," Lt. Will Akin said.

Sharon says the store's following is growing. She says it's been so popular as of late, one sheriff's department travels over two hours just to buy their uniforms here.

"You know you did the right thing when police officers come up and thank you," Thomas said. "It's the going trend from what I started."

And the pride shows each time an officer wears her work.

The Armory has been in business since 19-98, and she's provided more than a thousand officers with their uniforms for work.

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