BridgeporT– Six letters emblazoned on the back of a coat might be a matter of life and death for the guys and ladies who protect Connecticut’s biggest city.
That is how Sgt. Chris Robinson feels about having “POLICE” printed on outerwear used by Bridgeport’s Finest.
Robinson was suspended with pay recently for openly slamming Police Chief Armando “A.J.” Perez’s Nov. 13 memorandum prohibiting polices from advertising their occupation on their clothes.
” We are the authorities, are we not? Then why are we now trying to camouflage or even go to such steps and means to conceal it now?” composed Robinson in an e-mail counterclaim distributed throughout the department. His e-mail, in addition to Perez’s order, was gotten by Hearst Connecticut Media.
” Members of Service (officers) are advised that any user of ‘POLICE’ on department uniforms besides roadway job outerwear is restricted,” Perez had composed. “Supervisors will be held responsible for cannot impose and follow this instruction.”.
” This order compromises everybody’s security!!!!” Robinson stated in his e-mail. “It is an order that can get an officer hurt or eliminated!”.
It is an order that has stimulated much more debate for the acting top police. Perez was currently handling a spike in murders, accusations of use of extreme force by some officers, mad neighborhood leaders requiring consistent electronic cameras and training reforms, and pressure from City Hall to decrease over time.
” It does make me fret about his Elite Lawyer Management,” stated City Councilman-elect Marcus Brown. “The cops are there to secure and serve. People need to have the ability to ID who law enforcement officer is when beyond the vehicle. If they wish to eliminate ‘POLICE’ from the coats, what’s next? From patrol car? It does not make good sense to me.”.
In Bridgeport, polices are paid a yearly consistent allowance but accountable for picking and acquiring the clothes. Sgt. Chuck Paris, the cop’s union president, stated he understands a couple of members who chose to have “POLICE” printed on a few of their clothes, in the reflective product, “Not figuring it would be an issue. … They feel more secure with that on their coats.”.
Perez on Monday informed Hearst that putting “POLICE” on uniforms is not licensed in present policy, which is developed by the chief, the city’s law department, and the authorities commission,
” Uniformity and discipline are needed for the effective operation of an authority’s company,” Perez stated in a declaration. “We are a company of guidelines and laws and the guidelines should be abided by. A consistent expert look is an image this company wants to communicate.”.
The chief kept in mind that officers are “easily recognizable” by their uniforms, badges, name tags, hats, and authority’s spots.
Perez also stated that Robinson was not suspended “for raising concerns” but for not revealing them through correct procedure.
Robinson in the e-mail that got him suspended provided 4 situations where officers might gain from clothes with reflective letters, all taking place during the night: Working at the scene of an automobile mishap; chasing after a suspect; reacting to a robbery, and aiming to break up a street battle.
In all 4 cases, Robinson stated, having “POLICE” on a coat or other outerwear would guarantee that the user is acknowledged by fellow officers and the public. Robinson also argued that having “POLICE” on clothes might make a distinction in the lawsuit.
” I myself have been drilled on the stand before in trials that they consistently asked me, ‘Well, is it possible that possibly they didn’t know you were a law enforcement officer’?” remembered Robinson.
Perez on Monday stated he has not been offered “any research studies” showing such benefits. And John DeCarlo, an associate teacher of criminal justice at the University of New Haven, concurred the issue has not been considered.
DeCarlo stated Robinson’s arguments made good sense but included that in many cases such outerwear might make authorities targets.
” I recall very first becoming a police officer and having the interior lights of the cars divested of bulbs because officers did not want the lights going on when they left the car so as not to be simple targets for somebody wanting to do them damage,” DeCarlo stated.
And Hartford authorities just recently implicated federal migration enforcement representatives because the city of using coats emblazoned with “POLICE” to deceive immigrants in the neighborhood who deal with and trust local police officers.
Paris stated the union wanted to step in with Perez on Robinson’s behalf and to more research the clothes issue to see if it present policy need to be altered.