Putting homicide detectives on foot patrol has helped cause a pants shortage in the Baltimore Police Department, says the Baltimore Sun. “We are officially out today,” said Officer Troy Harris, a department spokesman. “We’re putting in an emergency order for [sizes 36 and 38].” At the Howard Uniform Co., a frantic call came in from a city purchasing agent. “He said, ‘The department is out of pants. We need these pants as fast as possible,'” said George Shamdasani, a vice president for the supply company.
The shortage was an unintended consequence of recently hiring 240 new officers. The police union president pinned the problem on plainclothes detectives raiding the supply closet because of a new initiative requiring that they walk foot patrols in uniform. The tussle over trousers comes amid an upswing of homicides and shootings – during a week in which politicians, police officials and an ex-police commissioner turned felon turned radio talk show host put forward ideas on how to fight crime.”It is the little things that really make our job tough,” said one patrol officer who wears size 32 pants but said he was turned away from the supply office. “This is one of those things that is never talked about. If the public ever knew they’d be like, ‘What? Are you kidding me?’ ” The officer said that each of his six pairs of pants has problems – including a broken zipper, as well as holes in pockets and in other unmentionable places. “They wear out,” he said. “I’ve got holes in them from chasing people. They rip.”