Montgomery Co. looks into a change in uniform for its police

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said the Maryland county is considering a new look for its police officers.

In the past, Montgomery County police officers wore khaki uniforms. Currently, they wear black.

“There’s a pretty broad consensus that the uniforms are intimidating,” Elrich said during his weekly briefing with reporters Wednesday. He agreed with the idea that an outfit change is needed.

“It’s something that we ought to do, and it will help take some of the intimidation out of the appearance of an officer” he said.

During the briefing, Elrich said the issue has been under discussion with the Fraternal Order of Police and the department. “And they’re still in the process of deciding on a color for the rank and file, as well as colors for the management,” Elrich said.

Aside from the perception of the uniforms, Elrich said there’s also another practical consideration —  dark uniforms hold heat.

“And in the summer, it’s just more uncomfortable,” Elrich said. He added that by switching to a lighter color, it “should actually be a more comfortable uniform than the one they’re wearing today.”

When asked about the cost of the uniform change, the county executive said it would depend on how it is rolled out and phased in. The likely cost will run over $1 million, Elrich said.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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