Police supervisors in city returning to blue shirts


Baltimore police are going back to blue.

Starting this week, supervisors who have put on white shirts for most of their careers will be dressing in blue ones, bringing them into line with their troops, who have been wearing the darker color since 1995.

For the first time in years, everyone will be in the same color uniform.

Commissioner Edward T. Norris startled many officers when he showed up on Greenmount Avenue last week wearing blue.

"He just likes it," said Bert L. Shirey, the deputy commissioner of administration.

City police once wore white. They went to blue in 1995 because the white shirts reflected light, making them stand out at night. Officers with ranks of sergeant and above continued to wear white so that citizens could easily pick out who was in charge.

Shirey said marked squad cars driven by ranking officers will still be marked with "shift commander" or "supervisor."

Baltimore County officers went from white to blue in 1996, offering the same safety reasons.

Baltimore police commanders will still wear white shirts and white hats at ceremonies and other official functions.

"The blue actually looks pretty good," Shirey said yesterday.

"My wife gave it her approval."

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