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Thread: NYPD clothing restriction
02-02-12, 03:23 AM #1
NYPD clothing restriction
I'm a bit confused. I understand the need for policy in police work. Without policy we fly by the seat of our pants. Policy is supposed to guide us and gives us direction. Some make sense some do not. A recent directive from the New York Police Department simply does not.
The directive, a clothing and logo restriction, was issued by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. In a nutshell the directive restricts what a NYPD officer can wear regarding representation of the NYPD, specifically it's logo. Apparently, any clothing bearing the NYPD logo, in any fashion, must be approved by a Uniform and Equipment Review Committee and or issued by the department. Hmm. I can see the sense in needing to approve a firearm or Class A as opposed to Class B uniform or even the type of uniform, etc. However, since when does it take a committee to approve a T-shirt or hat? Good grief. What ever happened to common sense? In fact, this appears like a great time to let common sense prevail.
According to news reports, the new policy was issued due to Commissioner Kelly observing an officer wearing a clothing item with a controversial “quote” attached with it. Granted, it's hard to know the full story without knowing the quote but I do have a suggestion. Before a department issues a blanket policy for all officers how about telling the “offending” officer to, oh I don't know, maybe take the shirt off and not wear it. I have also found no information saying the restriction is for only on duty personnel. Does the the policy also include the same restriction for off duty personnel? It certainly looks that way. So does this mean an officer can't wear a NYPD ball cap to the store? A NYPD T-shirt to walk the dog? How about that NYPD wind breaker to step out and grab the paper at the end of the drive? It appears so. It appears so to such an extreme that the NYPD union (NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association), in my opinion, is justifiably up in arms about this.
Each of us in law enforcement understand, or should understand, that we must be careful in how we, not only, represent our agencies but our careers as well. Again, common sense should prevail in how and what we wear on duty or off duty. We should have the right to represent our selves, agencies and careers in a positive light if we so desire. I do not see where this policy is a good reflection of that sentiment. Restricting anything worn with an NYPD logo or emblem on is makes about as much sense as a soup sandwich. So the general public can purchase anything on the market, proudly represent and support the NYPD but it's own officers cannot? That just doesn't sound right coming out of either side of someone's mouth. I also understand some officers apprehension in wearing off duty identifying clothing but is this not an individual officers decision?
Commissioner Kelly might want to be a bit careful about how he is possibly stepping onto his officer's rights as citizen's not just cops. In the meantime, I hope no officer gets caught answering that knock on the door by admin in their NYPD pajamas. Unless, of course, they were issued. Just saying.
I can see either this playing out ugly between the NYPD union and admin or this policy will quietly and quickly disappear. I would suggest the latter. Just my opinion.Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
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02-02-12, 05:45 AM #2Premium Lifetime Member
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Well said my friend.
Here is the article that was in the NY Post about what Lewis is writing about
Cops banned from wearing NYPD gear without prior approval - NYPOST.comCheck your feelings at the door!
The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Reca" on Officerresource.com
02-02-12, 07:29 AM #3
Make the dirty laundry, quite literally here, public? Sometimes it serves a purpose. This sounds like an internal matter that could have been handled appropriately. The ban just made that a media feast. Before the only people who could be offended were the few who saw whatever item had a questionable quote on it. Before there was one, or perhaps several, wearing questionable items. Before only those who made a bad decision had their knuckles under the ruler. It wasn't everyone, and it certainly wasn't making news here half a continent away. Now it is.
Taking out a flea with a shotgun might be a good YouTube video, but it's no way to manage people. Especially when you're using the 1st Amendment as the backstop.
As for the garments in question, I can't condone them, but neither can I condemn them. I looked at several articles and none cited what the slogan was. (One did mention a previous instance of shirts some homicide detective had made which didn't shock my delicate sensibilities, but weren't a great idea. That was handled without me hearing about it) If you're going to do this in public you HAVE to be clear what it was and how widespread or it just makes it worse as the citizenry is left to imagine the worst, now, of everyone.
Originally Posted by William Pitt (the Younger), Speech in the House of Commons (18 November, 1783)
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