I came across this sentence on the television crime drama Rizzoli & Isles. In the scene, A introduced B to C, and said to C that

B is a detective with the Boston Police Department.

After taking a look at B's dress, C said to B,

Oh. And is that official police issue?

My question is what does official police issue mean here?

  • 1
    "And is that dress officially issued to police?"
    – Silenus
    Aug 24, 2016 at 2:07
  • Shouldn't it be And is that dress officially issued by the (Boston) Police department?
    – Ashwin Nair
    Aug 24, 2016 at 3:45

1 Answer 1


I'll answer as the relevant dictionary definition of issue (MW) may not be obvious:

9 a: the act of publishing or officially giving out or making available

the next issue of commemorative stamps
issue of supplies by the quartermaster

b: the thing or the whole quantity of things given out at one time

read the latest issue

Police issue would be the standard tools, weapons, clothing, and other supplies which the police force provides to its members. Stock army equipment provided to soldiers is similarly army issue.

This particular example is a clichéd joke, in which someone wryly asks if something outlandish or obviously not standard is, in fact, standard issue.

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