THE EDITOR: Acting Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob stated at his media conference on Tuesday that officers will be instructed to wear their grey and blue uniforms, with a view to blocking imposters.
Seeing a police officer smartly dressed in a crisply starched grey shirt, well-pressed blue trousers with well-slicked boots on the street is like finding an oasis in a desert.
Over the last ten years or so, junior officers, some of whom may still be on probation, can often be seen wearing a blue operational jacket and black pants while on duty. Although this operational wear is now an official uniform in the TTPS, it doesn’t lend itself to the same neatness and professionalism of the grey shirt and blue trousers. Many officers donning the operational gear do not even wear their police caps in public, which is considered to be improperly dressed.
Further, the operational kit can be easily duplicated, as was expressed by the commissioner. While the operational garb has its purpose and is more practical to wear while performing certain duties, the fact remains that the grey-and-blue is still the “patrol order” for officers of the aforementioned ranks.
In my view, this drop in the standard of dress, which has been allowed for years even before the operational wear became official, has caused a decline in discipline in the service and a waning in respect from the public.
Interestingly, most female officers in the above mentioned ranks wear their correct uniforms and cannot be faulted in this regard. However, the male officers tend to shun the grey-and-blue.
I long to see police officers smartly turned out in their grey shirts and blue trousers so that they can regain the admiration and respect from the public, as has happened in the past.