Uniform Dispute in Phoenix, AZ Going to Arbitration
Thursday, November, 1, 2012
An arbitration attorney will be handling a conflict between the Phoenix Police Department and selected policemen on the issue of uniform and dress code rules.
In 2012, Daniel Garcia, Police Chief of the department, issued a mandated uniform policy, requiring that officers on duty wear the more traditional “Class C” uniforms made up of navy blue poly blend button down shirts and dress trousers.
The Phoenix Police department has been allowed to wear the more casual and comfortable alternative uniform, the “Class D”, which was made up of polo shirts and cargo pants. Officers had the choice to decide which they would wear between the two.
Garcia claims that the Class D uniforms can cause confusion as to who officers are to civilians or could make it easy for criminals to impersonate officers.
This Legal Arbitration Will Decide If Garcia's Policy Stands
The department released a news release in which they said “Given a growing trend of suspects impersonating police officers...it only makes sense that we do everything we can to help avoid conflict with our residents. This is an issue of safety not only for residents, but for our officers as well.”
Vice president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA), retorted in regards to the dispute that all uniforms can be faked by criminals, and that he found the new mandate to be “ridiculous”. He also stated that officers need more comfort during summer months, and that the Class D uniforms offer police more freedom to move quickly in cases of chasing down, subduing, and catching suspects and violent persons.
The department has not protested PLEA's claim, but has insisted upon standing behind Garcia's decision for the new uniform mandate.
Arbitration Lawyer Contacted by PLEA
PLEA filed a grievance that was made on behalf of over 100 officers within the department. PLEA decided to take the issue up with an arbitration lawyer after police chief Garcia refused to overturn his decision. The new policy began to take effect on October 1st.
This legal arbitration is a last-ditch attempt to overturn that decision. As the decision will be legally binding and final, it will most likely be the final step in the grievance process.