|IMPD Chief Rick Hite (Kelly Wilkinson/Indianapolis Star Photo)|
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) constantly strives to enhance the public’s perception of the policing profession by ensuring accountability, professionalism, and transparency is at the forefront of our day-to-day activities. Men and women holding appointed ranks within IMPD will therefore transition to wearing white uniform shirts, effective May 1.
This uniform change is being implemented within IMPD during a time of increased scrutiny of police operations and tactics, and increased demands of accountability by the general public. However, the decision to alter the uniform requirement for Command Staff members is NOT related to any specific, individual incident occurring elsewhere in the United States.
Although it’s a relatively minor uniform adjustment which will apply to Majors, District Commanders, Deputy Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs and the Chief of Police himself, the wearing of white shirts fulfills some very important purposes. The citizens of Indianapolis have reasonably increased expectations of those in command level positions. Command staff personnel will be immediately identifiable by those who do not recognize the subtle differences in collar brass currently worn by IMPD officers.
Additionally, IMPD Command Staff personnel have the responsibility of publicly leading from the front, while being accessible to the members of the general public they serve. Whether it involves being available for questions or concerns within our communities, receiving input about the needs of neighborhoods, businesses, schools, or churches; or whether it makes Command Staff personnel more available for those who wish to report crimes or suspicious activity, those wearing white uniform shirts can and should be viewed as the final point of contact to the police department for all of these reasons and more.
Finally, this uniform change ensures consistency within the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Each division within DPS requires personnel in specific ranks to wear white uniform shirts.
Richard Riddle, Media Relations