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Just a random question. I saw a police supervisor wearing a white shirt the other day and that got me thinking: when and why did the custom of higher ranking LEOs wearing white shirts start?



Does anyone know why LE command staff wear white shirts, instead of the same color the rank-and-file officers wear?


Just wondering.
 

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Pretty Ladies!
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The obvious reason is to seperate the bosses from the troops. This can be good and bad. It makes it easy to identify who's in charge at a chaotic scene, even for civilians. On the other hand it visually establishes an "us vs. them" dynamic among the police employees themselves. It kind of all comes down to what the police adminstrator who makes the decision values as a "leadership" ideal. Do you have your supervisors stand apart from the personnel they lead to inspire and command or do you visually state that "we're all in this together" and put everyone in the same uniform?

We only had one chief who put management in white shirts. When he left, the next guy switched them back.

I was always a contrarian and I preferred the bosses wearing white shirts. The "us vs. them" dynamic between management and labor always exists anyway. Might as well make it hard for them to sneak up on us when we're grumbling about their stupid decisions.
 

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Just a random question. I saw a police supervisor wearing a white shirt the other day and that got me thinking: when and why did the custom of higher ranking LEOs wearing white shirts start?



Does anyone know why LE command staff wear white shirts, instead of the same color the rank-and-file officers wear?


Just wondering.
They don't do the dirty work any more?

Actually no idea but I wouldn't like to. Makes you stand out in a crowd so makes a more quickly acquired target, I'd think
 

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I’m not sure, our command staff wears the same colors as us... brown 🤠
 
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Just a random question. I saw a police supervisor wearing a white shirt the other day and that got me thinking: when and why did the custom of higher ranking LEOs wearing white shirts start?



Does anyone know why LE command staff wear white shirts, instead of the same color the rank-and-file officers wear?


Just wondering.
This is only done for certain places. Probably to create and us/them environment. It was not done in the Sheriff’s office I worked for or any that I’m familiar with. The Sheriff on down to the Deputy wore the same uniform because our philosophy was we were all on the same team. Rank was either stripes on the sleeve or ‘brass’ on the shoulders. When I retired I had stripes on the sleeve.

As a side note, white shirts at night are a bad tactical idea.
 

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It's an elitist thing.
What he said... It's a 'distinction', or sign that "I'm the big cheese". It's normal, as the public now know who the one to complain to is --- "that guy with the white shirt".
This can also be seen in other professions, but especially, highly-visible, municipal ones, like utility crews and such. Samey-same. "I just work here, Lady... Go chew-out the guy in the white shirt!"
 

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White shirts makes it easy to find who's in charge, or should I say who's screwing up.
 
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I don’t know, but I can’t stand them, much harder to keep clean...


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It's an elitist thing.
I think any kind of high status white uniform item is all about saying "look at me, I never have to deal with dirt". I was the type of guy that would crawl underneath trucks to see if they had any damage that would make them unsafe. The guys that would pencil whip an inspection to keep their uniforms clean were sometimes perceived as better soldiers.
 
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Patrol Corporal
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This is only done for certain places. Probably to create and us/them environment. It was not done in the Sheriff’s office I worked for or any that I’m familiar with. The Sheriff on down to the Deputy wore the same uniform because our philosophy was we were all on the same team. Rank was either stripes on the sleeve or ‘brass’ on the shoulders. When I retired I had stripes on the sleeve.

As a side note, white shirts at night are a bad tactical idea.
I don’t think the brass has to worry about tactics at night. Or in the daytime either. Any fighting to be done, they are gonna be in the rear with the gear. They set up the CP outside the outer perimeter and run the show from there.
 
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In my department everyone has the same uniform, save for the stripes or collar brass. The chief does have a short waisted jacket for his dress uniform but that’s about it.
 
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Who's in charge?

THAT GUY!!!!
 
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