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Reddman
08-22-2009, 10:53 PM
Hey guys,
Our department requires white tees under uniforms by day, black/midnight blue by night. In discussing this with our chief, he asked "why does LAPD uniform require this?" as some of us feel the white makes a perfect target against our midnight blue uniforms (LAPD blue) either by day or night and want to wear the black/midnight blue 24/7. Can anyone tell me the rationale behind the LAPD rule on white tees under uniforms? Any help is appreciated -- Thanks

DAL
08-22-2009, 10:58 PM
Rationale?

When I was in the Navy, uniform regulations required us to wear V-nevk T-shirts so that our underwear would not show.

PhilipCal
08-23-2009, 03:58 AM
Hey guys,
Our department requires white tees under uniforms by day, black/midnight blue by night. In discussing this with our chief, he asked "why does LAPD uniform require this?" as some of us feel the white makes a perfect target against our midnight blue uniforms (LAPD blue) either by day or night and want to wear the black/midnight blue 24/7. Can anyone tell me the rationale behind the LAPD rule on white tees under uniforms? Any help is appreciated -- Thanks

Rationale? I really suspect there isn't any. Kind of like DAL said.

Iowa #1603
08-23-2009, 04:31 AM
50 yrs ago Chief (fill in the blank) thought it looked sharp.

Nowdays no one in command wants to break tradition------and the command staff isn't "schooled" in present day tactics..

Kieth M.
08-23-2009, 10:04 AM
So many things at LAPD were decided long ago, and the reasons are lost in the dustbin of time.

The LAPD Manual told me that my tee shirt had to be either white crew or V-neck. My guess is that when they compiled the Manual, tee shirts were probably only available in white.

If one dares, any attempt to change LAPD uniform requirements, there, is like mating elephants...lots of pushing, pulling, and shoving, and you have to wait many months for the change to be evident.

BTW - Metro Division officers....particularly Mounted Unit officers violate the white tee-shirt rule routinely, wearing black or navy blue.

Here's an LAPD story about rules and why we did things a certain way:

Once upon a time, in the 60's, there was a rule stating that all LAPD Recruit Officers had to have all their own full set of teeth. No one was applying the rule, but inquiring minds wanted to know why it was on the books.

They searched until they found the oldest living retiree who had overseen the selection process. He said that they had adopted the standards set by West Point...they wanted their officers to be the same type of young men who would "get into West Point".

Next they wondered why West Point had the "teeth" rule. So they called West Point. Although the rule was there, and was not being applied, no one working at West Point had any idea why the rule was on their books. Intrigued, they set about to find out why. So they, too, found their oldest living retiree and he told them.

U.S. Army Officers needed to have a full set of their own teeth in order to, without any difficulty, bite the cloth patch with which they would load their musket balls before ramming the load down the barrel of their rifle.

My other favorite story is about our transition from the .38 cal round nose lead bullet to the copper jacketed controlled-expansion round (CJCER) which everyone else on planet earth called it the 'hollow-point'. The LAPD Armorer was ordering yet another shipment of the bullet despised by the rank and file officers. He, like every other cop wanted to catch up with the times and get better ammo instead of these bullets which routinely passed through and failed to stop bad guys.

So, while trying to research for another report requesting the chief to change LAPD ammo, he wasked the company rep, "How many other big city police departments use this crap ammo?" The ammo rep said, "No one...and if you didn't order it, we'd stop making it." The Armorer asked, "Would you mind not making it?" Rep said, "No." The Armorer said, "If you'll stop making it, we'll have to order your other CJCER." The rep said, "Consider it done!"

The Armorer made his employees report, advising the chain-of-command that Ammo Company X regretted to inform him, and the department, but as of a certain date, they would no longer be producing the 158 gr. round nose lead bullet...he then listed his suggestions for the next-generation of bullets to be carried by the LAPD. The department had no choice but to switch.

You need to know that when I first hit the L.A. streets in 1977, I was not allowed to wear short sleeves unless it was after Memorial Day and before Labor Day and the teletype disclosed a tempurature of over a certain degree. I also had to wear a hat on once I stepped out of the car. Be very glad those policies are gone.

Reddman, please forgive my lengthy reply to what was a simple request for info.

I worked there 30 years. I absolutely love the job but the department frustrated me, at times. They did things, because they've always done it that way. When one department adopts all the practices of another, they take the stupid, inane, crazy, and nonsensical practices along with the good ones.

If you would, show the chief my response, or PM me and I'll supply my contact info if he has other questions.

PhilipCal
08-23-2009, 11:32 AM
Keith, That was priceless!! Totally true, totally unbelievable, unless you've BTDT. In common with you, I have. LAPD though typical, isn't the only agency which operated/operates as you described. Thanks for the memories.:D

Reddman
08-23-2009, 01:54 PM
Guys,
I appreciate so much the responses. I imagined the situation was as stated by Keith, but needed some substantiation.
As a point-of-interest, I began as an LEO in the dark ages of the early 70's soon after college. After a few years, I was approached by a group of local school board personnel showing me the logical & economical justification for going to work teaching & coaching. I spent 28 years in education, finally retiring as a school principal. For many of those years I served as the director of reserves and/or in the reserves for several local & parish (re:county) agencies.
The new chief is a former student from several years back. He "recruited" me to add some "gray" to the department. I recently returned from 3 months in Academy successfully surviving the experience with 39 others -- none of which were 57 like me. A 90 average and a drop from 40 to 36 waist was the final result.
With a BS and double Master's degree and the years of LEO experience justified a bump in rank to Lieutenant, Supv. of Operations for the dept. My nickname all thru the academy was "coach" as it is still with many in the city. The new one is "Lieutenant of Stuff." LOL
I'm logging the responses so I can share them with the chief and hopefully we can get him to agree to a vote on the undershirts. Several of us wear underarmor or similar in black/midnight blue and would like to do this 24/7 as I've said. We feel it is a safety issue as well as a uniform issue, and that is the rationale to our position. Hopefully some others can weigh in and share if they have some other definitive info like Keith.
Thanks Keith for the really quality insight into the LAPD.

SgtCHP
08-23-2009, 02:18 PM
I recall a time in the 70s when a certain Chief was preparing for an increase in budgeted funds for the next fiscal year. Within the package the Chief included a used, diesel powered submarine - available from Naval Surplus - and his justification was he needed to use covert means to locate, track and apprehend smugglers in the waters off of L.A. Harbor.

The City negotiated with the Chief, lined out the submarine and included more cops for the street. That is what the Chief wanted in the first place but knew it would be fruitless to ask for the increase in personnel directly.

DAL
08-23-2009, 02:46 PM
I thought of another solution for your problem: require officers to wear long-sleeve shirts with ties. I believe some state police agencies in the East still do this.

Kieth M.
08-23-2009, 03:45 PM
I thought of another solution for your problem: require officers to wear long-sleeve shirts with ties. I believe some state police agencies in the East still do this.


Oh, dear God, you remind me of another rule we had. When Daryl Gates was made chief, he did away with the hats on patrol, and allowed us to wear short sleeves anytime....EXCEPT, if we wore a jacket, we had to wear a tie. No open collars were allowed with patrol jackets.

Five-0fromSoCal
08-23-2009, 04:18 PM
We (LASD) also have some crazy rules. There was a time and I'm sure alot of SoCal coppers remember when LASD Deps wore riot helmets anytime they were in the field. Although we can wear short sleeves shirts anytime and with a jacket, it is only with W/C's approval to wear class "B's" (polyester shirt/pants with sewn on badge/name plate) out in the field. Usually it has to be close to 100 or raining.

I'm glad we don't have the tie with long sleeves though. As with LAPD, it takes months of consideration and experimentation to change anything with uniforms or equipment.

careerchange#2
08-23-2009, 06:14 PM
Wow God bless my dept! We are have optional short sleeves starting in April with mandatory short sleeves starting in May, going optional long sleeve in october and mandatory in November.

- white t-shirts w/ short sleeve shirts
-tie OR black under armor mock turtle neck with long sleeves
- open collar allowed w/ jackets/sweaters

PeteBroccolo
08-23-2009, 06:29 PM
Royal Canadian Mounted Police policy is:
- NO undershirt of ANY colour is to be visible with open-collar shirts;
- shirt collars CAN be open AS LONG AS you are not:
- - a Commissioned Officer;
- - in Court wearing long-sleeved shirt (while acting as a guard, testifying or acting as the liaison / prosecutor);
- - wearing our blue jacket (single-breast jacket, for media relations, Academy instructors, other semi-formal settings);
during which time you MUST wear a tie.

Reason: the Force prefers it that way!

DAL
08-23-2009, 06:31 PM
One must look like a well-dressed gentleman.

DACP
08-23-2009, 07:26 PM
My uniform policy is straight from the military, just took out the word "soldier" and replaced it with "Police".

Blizzination
08-25-2009, 10:52 PM
My agency says you can wear long sleeve, or short sleeve.

I can wear white or black undershirts. On night shift, I can wear a modified duty uniform (cloth badge and name tape)

SmallCityCop
08-26-2009, 02:40 PM
my dept. wears LAPD Navy uniforms and we are req'd to wear white t-shirts all the time.

fahrenheit
08-27-2009, 01:36 PM
My department almost swings all the way to the other end of the pendulum... there are so many choices, you almost can't call it a "uniform" any more.

-The decision of whether to wear short sleeves or long sleeves is up to the officer (an improvement over when we used to have to make sure we had both shirts as the watch commander would make the decision daily based on temperature).

-We can wear black, navy, or white crew- or v-neck undershirts.

-We can wear over-the-shirt or under-the-shirt vest carriers.

-We can either pin on the jewelry or have it all embroidered on the shirt or vest carrier.

-In the summer, we can wear regular short sleeves or the breathable-nylon bicycle officer's shirts, which must be embroidered with the badge and name.

-Evidence technicians and K-9 handlers may, but are not required to, wear BDUs. Nobody else has the option.

-Pants may be plain leg or cargos.

-We have at least three different winter jackets that are approved and as many rain jackets.

Don't get me wrong. I actually like having the choices because it means that everyone gets what they are comfortable with. I just realize that we might have too many options when people at a domestic start asking why Officer X wears a different uniform than Officer Y.