No tie, officer? That's a write-up

Dingo McPhee

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Full article with photo at https://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/may/12/good-job-homicide-detectives-wear-tie-next-time/

Good job, homicide detectives — but wear a tie next time

Four of the homicide officers responsible for solving the 2007 murder of University of Memphis football player Taylor Bradford were in the courtroom Sunday to hear the guilty verdict in the trial of the first defendant.
On Monday, when their pictures appeared in The Commercial Appeal, they got written up for not wearing ties.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin on Wednesday defended the major who took the officers to task.
"If I had seen them on duty not wearing ties, I probably would have said something like 'Hey guys, where're your ties? Where're your coats?' and that'd probably be the end of it," Godwin said. "But we're a paramilitary organization and we're expected to dress in professional businesslike attire. It's not come-as-you-are."

The homicide detectives -- Sgts. Mundy Quinn, W.D. Merritt and Kevin Lundy and Lt. Mark Miller -- were seated in the back row of Criminal Court as the jury found defendant Devin Jefferson guilty of felony murder.
Seated with them was homicide Sgt. Connie Justice, who also worked the case and who wore a black pantsuit. She is not required to wear a tie.
Merritt wore a sport coat and the other male officers all wore open-neck shirts.
According to the department's dress code: "Male officers will wear a neat, clean uniform or a suit/sport coat and tie. ... Female officers will wear a neat, clean uniform or a skirt and blouse, a pantsuit, or a dress."

The write-up came from Maj. Mike Ryall in the form of a negative observed behavior report, which Godwin says goes in the officers' personnel files, comes out in a year and then goes away.
"It's very minor," he added. "It ain't like somebody got fired. I can't believe this is even a story."
He added that it matters not that it was a Sunday or that the officers had done a good job on a high-profile homicide case.
"Nobody brags about homicide (officers) more than I do," said Godwin, noting that homicides are down 41 percent. "But we're going to be professional. It doesn't matter what day it is and you can't violate (dress code) policy because you do a good job. They're on duty and they're representing the Memphis Police Department."
 

Cruiser

Connoisseur
The judge should have had the tie-less officers The removed a la "My Cousin Vinny!!"

The difference is that Vinny, as an attorney, was an officer of the court whereas the police officers were merely witnesses offering testimony. It is rare for a judge to hold people testifying to the same standard as officers of the court.

Cruiser
 

Dingo McPhee

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
The difference is that Vinny, as an attorney, was an officer of the court whereas the police officers were merely witnesses offering testimony. It is rare for a judge to hold people testifying to the same standard as officers of the court.

Cruiser
Actually they weren't testifying. They were merely observing the judgment verdict of someone they helped put away. They were not there in any official capacity. Nevertheless...
 

12345Michael54321

Senior Member
Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin on Wednesday defended the major who took the officers to task.
"If I had seen them on duty not wearing ties, I probably would have said something like 'Hey guys, where're your ties? Where're your coats?' and that'd probably be the end of it," Godwin said. "But we're a paramilitary organization and we're expected to dress in professional businesslike attire. It's not come-as-you-are."

This is what I find terribly distressing - the mindset that a police department should be thought of as a paramilitary organization. I'm much more comfortable with the traditional US notion of there being a clear and significant distinction between civilian law enforcement, and the military.

BTW, what's a "Police Director?" There are already Chiefs of Police, and Police Commissioners; what authority and responsibility does a Police Director possess, which these other offices lack? Or is it just an example of someone wanting to come up with a new, catchier-sounding job title for an existing position?

Anyway, around here the police are pretty good about wearing ties. Although I do sometimes see uniformed officers smoking, which I'm led to believe is a violation of the local department's policies. Not that I particularly care about it, but I suppose some people do, and with so many folks carrying cameras - if only built into their cell phones - I've got to think that eventually any officer who smokes in public while in uniform will be caught on film/CCD/CMOS sensor, and face at least some minor embarrassment.
--
Michael
 

WouldaShoulda

Suspended
This is what I find terribly distressing - the mindset that a police department should be thought of as a paramilitary organization. I'm much more comfortable with the traditional US notion of there being a clear and significant distinction between civilian law enforcement, and the military.

That's what "paramilitary" means.
 

12345Michael54321

Senior Member
No, while I appreciate that you may see things differently, a clear and significant distinction would be "military" and "civilian." The term "paramilitary" blurs this distinction.
 

WouldaShoulda

Suspended
No, while I appreciate that you may see things differently, a clear and significant distinction would be "military" and "civilian." The term "paramilitary" blurs this distinction.

If one didn't know what it means I suppose it could.

I guess??

But I digress...

Cop steps into court, wear a tie.

Case closed!!
 
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Cruiser

Connoisseur
Cop steps into court, wear a tie.

Case closed!!

I agree if the cop is on duty and is required by his department rules to wear a tie when on duty. In that case he should have one on whether he is in court or not. On the other hand I don't see where anyone, including an off duty cop, would need to put a tie on to sit in the gallery in a courtroom and observe the proceedings.

Very few of the detectives and plain clothes officers in my community wear ties, although I think most do when testifying in court. I doubt that any of them would put on a tie just to go sit in the peanut gallery and watch.

Cruiser
 
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