Police Commissioner Kelly bans use of unauthorized NYPD merch
Here's what not to wear if you're a city cop: unauthorized NYPD merchandise.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly banned officers from wearing non-uniform apparel that bears the NYPD logo or shield at any time in a Jan. 19 order that was disclosed by DNAinfo.com.
The order, which has the city's largest police union fuming, also prohibits cops from using NYPD-stamped items, such as pins, jewelry and mugs.
"The department hopes to deter unprofessional appearance associated with unauthorized police logos and slogans," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
Officers can seek an exemption from the department's uniform division.
The crackdown comes after Kelly saw a cop wearing a T-shirt with "NYPD" and the provocative military slogan "Kill Them All and Let God Sort It Out," sources told DNAinfo.com.
The police union said the order violates free speech and possibly other constitutional rights. "Many private citizens proudly wear NYPD apparel - and police officers can't? It makes no sense," PBA President Patrick Lynch said.
The NYPD didn't return calls for comment on how the ban would be enforced. Civil-rights attorney Eric Sanders said some officers would probably overlook the rule.
"Not unless someone is wearing a shirt and does something crazy and inappropriate," said Sanders, a former NYPD officer.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, meanwhile, defended Kelly's right to "set the standards" within the department, adding that officers "can't have it both ways. ... They're not totally independent, even when they're not on duty. Whatever the [NYPD] decides is appropriate. I'll leave it to Ray," Bloomberg said Tuesday.
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Other NYPD bans
• Hearing aids: The department in 2009 enforced its ban on hearing aids while on-duty, and officers found to have hearing loss were reportedly pushed into disability retirement.
• Turbans: Sikh traffic agents in 2004 were told they couldn’t wear turbans, but after lawsuits were filed, the NYPD allowed smaller turbans to be worn. Sikh groups still want full turbans to be permitted.
• Nutritional supplements: The NYPD put out a directive in 2009 banning more than 20 types of legal, over-the-counter supplements because they could contribute to a positive drug test.