The police and the public are supposed to talk and listen to each other. But sometimes the all-black police uniforms are intimidating and can cause distance between officers and the community.
In effort to improve its community relationships, the Greensboro Police Department is trying a more casual style of uniform for its officers attending community events. The new uniform is supposed to make officers “more approachable” and open more dialogue with the public.
The new relaxed uniform includes:
- a gray polo with the GPD badge embroidered on the left breast
- standard black pants
- a scaled down equipment belt
“Our officers always welcome the opportunity to talk with members of the public – regardless of what uniform they are in – and we hope that the more casual appearance encourages others to come up to us and strike up a conversation,” Chief Wayne Scott said.
The new uniforms are meant for officers attending community outreach events and do not replace the department’s black uniform for patrol officers. Below is a picture of the department's standard uniform:
Other state police departments also see the benefit in using an array of uniforms. Jabe Hunter, Assistant Chief of the Chapel Hill Police Department, said the department has had a polo style uniform similar to GPD's for at least a decade.
Raleigh officers wear their standard uniform to community events, but Jim Sughrue, Director of Public Affairs for the Raleigh Police Department, said the department’s uniform committee provides specific attire for bicycle and mounted officers.
The new GPD uniforms will debut at the National Night Out Kick-Off Block Party Saturday at 10 a.m. on Federal Place. The event brings the police and community together with music and other activities to promote safer neighborhoods.