Ernest Hemingway kept a submachine gun in his 38-foot fishing boat in case he came across a German U-boat or an armed marlin, so it’s likely that he would appreciate the utter lack of nuance displayed by the members of the NYPD’s Queens Warrant Squad who wear his words. A tipster passes along this “disturbing” photo taken outside Queens Criminal Court showing members of the squad on-duty, shortly after escorting a woman into court for a misdemeanor charge.
Aside from taking a moronic view of public service culled straight from The Running Man, the shirts appear to violate department policy. NYPD Interim Order P.G. 203-06, “Performance on Duty – Prohibited Conduct,” which was obtained by DNAinfo’s Murray Weiss last year, prohibits NYPD employees from wearing
any item of apparel which contains a Department logo or shield, or in any way identifies its wearer with the New York City Police Department unless approved by the Uniform and Equipment Review Committee, prior to being worn by a member of the service, uniformed or civilian, on or off-duty.
The tipster says the officers were wearing NYPD badges around their necks. SocialistWorker.org reports that the shirts had the words, “Fugitive Enforcement NYPD,” printed on the front. It’s hard to believe that the Uniform and Equipment Review Committee would approve these shirts, especially given that newly appointed Chief of Department Philip Banks III, was reportedly cracking down on sloppy uniforms last month.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told the Times in 2009:
“One of the things the Marine Corps teaches you is to pay attention to detail, and that your appearance is important,” Mr. Kelly said. “It is important in every business. People who pay attention to their appearance do better.”
A 2008 Daily News profile notes that the Queens Warrant Squad’s mission is “to apprehend the worst of the worst: people wanted in homicides, nonfatal shootings and strong-arm robberies. Their quarry faces heavy jail time. Some would rather die than get caught.” One detective describes coming “within a hair of death.” Apparently the emotions stirred are so atavistic and primal they can only be adequately described by wearing them on a t-shirt.
Graham Rayman reports that the NYPD’s now-disbanded Street Crimes Unit had the same phrase printed on their shirts.
Last week, the Manhattan warrant squad evacuated a public housing building for hours when they mistakenly believed that a wanted man was barricaded in an apartment.
We’ve sent an email to NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne inquiring as to whether the shirts violate department policy. We don’t expect a response.
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