Baseball caps out for Pittsburgh police
Acting Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar's new message to Pittsburgh police: Hats off.
Spokeswoman Sonya Toler said on Thursday that officers no longer have the option of wearing police baseball caps.
“The goal is to keep the highest standard of professionalism throughout our public safety department,” Toler said. “That boils down to appearance and keeping your uniform looking professional. The director does not believe that baseball caps are professional.”
As word of the edict spread through the bureau, officers complained about the impracticality of what they call taxicab hats, which feature a band with a black and gold checkered pattern, and their anger at the change.
“If you're tasked with directing traffic an extended amount of time, the hats are very uncomfortable,” Officer Howard McQuillan, president of Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1. “It would be my fear that more people would not wear the hats and create discipline problems. Maybe we'll come to some solution, but either way, we're professionals in an honorable job.”
The union reviews proposed policy changes and can meet with the administration to discuss them before they are implemented.
Officers are expected to wear traditional service caps in public, except when in vehicles, Toler said. They are expected to comply with the rule by Sept. 1.
“One thing that you'll find with our public safety director, he believes in ‘You dress the part,' ” Toler said. “He believes in that kind of philosophy. It also helps give a more professional perception to the public about our officers.”
She said Bucar and Acting Police Chief Regina McDonald were unavailable for interviews.
The bureau has permitted officers to wear baseball caps since at least 2004.
Bucar, a former FBI supervisor, worked as a Pennsylvania State Police trooper in Uniontown and Belle Vernon from 1985 to 1991. He became Public Safety director in June.
The department will allow exceptions to the hat rule for officers assigned to bicycle and motorcycle units, Toler said.
“We will have a police department that acts and appears professional,” she said.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Memories of mice with ‘amnesia’ restored by light
- Pittsburgh’s HealthyRide system begins launch Sunday
- Point Park graduate’s ‘mugshot’ photos hit nerve on racism
- Former Pittsburgh police chief released from prison
- Medical examiner: Dormont man found near incline died of multiple injuries
- Inmate assaults Westmoreland County sheriff’s deputy at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital
- Newsmaker: Ursula Payne
- Bethel Park teacher’s profane tweet raises eyebrows
- State lawmaker proposes changes to Penn State’s board of trustees
- Penn Hills votes to sell, lease vacant school space
- U.S. Marshals task force arrests homicide suspect in Monroeville