Montgomery County, Maryland, is considering changing its police officers’ uniforms after receiving feedback that the black uniforms were too “intimidating.”
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich recently briefed reporters on the decision, explaining that it was part of the police’s efforts to “reimagine policing.”
“There’s a pretty broad consensus that the uniforms are intimidating. It’s something that we ought to do, and it will help take some of the intimidation out of the appearance of an officer.”
Prior to switching to black, police in the county wore khaki-colored uniforms.
Elrich said the idea to change the uniforms is being discussed between county officials and the Fraternal Order of Police.
“And they’re still in the process of deciding on a color for the rank and file, as well as colors for the management,” Elrich added.
Elrich said that the black uniforms not only make police officers appear threatening but also retain more heat during the summer.
“And in the summer, it’s just more uncomfortable,” Elrich said. By wearing lighter colors, the outfit “should actually be a more comfortable uniform than the one they’re wearing today.”
Elrich said the cost of the uniform change could amount to over $1 million depending on how it is phased in and added that the city council would address the issue further during a future committee work session.