NYPD T-shirts banned from wear by actual police officers

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 31, 2012 4:53 PM

By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Here's something New York City police officers can cross off their birthday lists - an NYPD T-shirt.

That and the mugs, pins, hats, jewelry, pens and endless curios that bear the famous blue and yellow shield-shaped logo have been banned from use by any NYPD officer under a January 19 order issued by Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

The department-wide order prevents New York's finest from using the shield on anything other than their official uniforms, according to a copy obtained by and posted on the news website DNAinfo.com.

While tourists can head home with bagfuls of the NYPD tchotchkes that fill souvenir shops citywide, the goodies are now off-limits to actual police officers.

"Many private citizens proudly wear NYPD apparel - and police officers can't? It makes no sense," said Patrick Lynch, the president of the police union the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the order was unlawful and infringed on officers' rights.

"Telling police officers what images or objects he or she can own or wear in their private lives is a clear violation of the officers' free speech rights, possibly other Constitutional rights and collective-bargaining rights," Lynch said.

The ban also stops officers from adorning department property with the logo in anything other than an officially sanctioned way.

A spokesman for the New York Police Department did not immediately respond to queries about the order.

(Editing By Barbara Goldberg and Paul Thomasch)