Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mayor Rick Kriseman considers uniform change for police officers

ST. PETERSBURG — There has been chatter over the years about a potential uniform change at the city's police department. That could now be inching closer to reality.

After recently hearing from officers, Mayor Rick Kriseman is pondering changes that could give the police force a new image.

That includes anything from minor tweaks to the mint green shirts officers wear to a complete color change or perhaps doing something different with the cruisers, city spokesman Ben Kirby said this week.

Since he took office in January, Kriseman has met regularly with officers, according to his calendar. Many have said they want dark blue or black uniforms.

Nothing has been decided yet, Kirby said.

At this point, neither Kirby, nor the police union, which has also been advocating for a new look, could say how much a uniform change would cost. It's possible Kriseman could include the change in next year's budget. That won't be known until he submits it to the council July 1.

The department has been using its current uniform, featuring the light green shirt and forest green slacks, for at least 40 years.

Police union vice president George Lofton said he believes it would be cheaper than whatever the city spends now because many other departments already have dark uniforms.

He also said the quality of uniforms has improved, so wearing a dark color is more bearable in Florida. Assistant Chief Melanie Bevan has her staff researching options, Lofton said.

The desire to change uniforms is about more then aesthetics, Lofton said.

"When you work at night, the shirt color kind of glows a little bit," he said. "Nobody has that color shirt."

Most law enforcement agencies in the bay area have dark uniforms. Earlier this year, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office announced it will ditch its white shirts for a dark green uniform.

That change is going on now, sheriff's spokeswoman Cristen Rensel said. She could not say how much it will cost; a total amount won't be known until all orders are placed.

Not everyone might be on board with a change in St. Petersburg.

Kurt Donley, who heads the criminal justice committee for the local NAACP branch, is concerned that police officers look more like soldiers in darker colors.

"I think it would be better if they didn't all look like military SWAT teams," he said.

Donley suggested Kriseman do a focus group or survey to see what residents think.

Mayor Rick Kriseman considers uniform change for police officers 06/18/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 11:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32 (left), was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with boss Larry McCabe when he saw three men …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH

    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. College World Series title puts Florida Gators in elite company

    College

    The Florida Gators put themselves in rare company with Tuesday night's College World Series national championship victory.

    Florida ace and Tampa native Alex Faedo (21) lets loose with his teammates after they win the Gators’ first baseball national title.