Phoenix Police Union Takes Legal Action Re: Uniforms

PHOENIX, AZ &#8211 The union that represents Phoenix police officers has filed a “charge” with the city’s Employment Relations Board over a change in the uniforms that officers are allowed to wear on duty.

Shortly after he took over the job about six months ago, police chief Daniel Garcia declared that the informal uniform, consisting of a black polo shirt with the Phoenix police log and black cargo pants, was no longer acceptable. Garcia said it was too easy for criminals to duplicate to allow them to impersonate an officer.

Instead, Garcia insisted on-duty officers wear the formal navy blue, long-sleeved uniform shirt with matching dress pants.

In its charge filed with the Employment Relations Board, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) says that “the topic of uniforms is a subject of mandatory bargaining,” according to PLEA vice president Ken Crane. He tells KFYI News that Garcia should have called in representatives of PLEA and the union representing police sergeants and discussed the issue before imposing the change.

PLEA is asking that each officer be reimbursed one year’s worth of clothing allowance, amounting to $1,150 per officer, for clothes they bought which they can no longer use.

“It’s a total compensation issue,” Crane said.

No date has been set for a hearing before the Employment Relations Board, which will hear both sides and make a decision whether the chief’s order violates the union contracts.


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