Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia is banning a cotton-blend black uniform for patrol officers, despite opposition from the police union, the Arizona Republic reports. Beginning Oct. 1, patrol officers must wear the more-formal blue uniform, a polyester-blend button-down shirt and dress pants. Officers now can choose between two uniforms.
The union’s Ken Crane said the chief has indicated that the city will reimburse officers who purchased additional black uniforms and accompanying equipment from January to July if they provide receipts. “It goes to show they made a rapid, knee-jerk decision that is costing the city money in an already tight budget time,” he said. The city paid $2.9 million this year in clothing allowance to patrol officers. Garcia said the use of two patrol uniforms could create confusion and offers greater opportunity for criminals to impersonate officers.