Cap Controversy at MPD

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis police officers work in all kinds of weather, including  when temperatures plunge.

"And when you're out on the street and there's any wind, it's extremely cold," says Memphis Police Association President J.D. Sewell.

Many cops are now losing their cool.

"We have been inundated with calls from our officers out in the field and on the street," Sewell said.

They are upset over a new rule requiring them to wear their dress hat if they get cold instead of a cozy knit cap.

"This is not winterized," Sewell said about the dress hats.

In a directive sent to all MPD personnel, the administration writes, quote, "baseball caps and wool caps will not be permitted for any uniform patrol activities."

It goes on to say, quote, "Effective December 1, 2008, the police uniform hat is the only headgear that will be worn with the duty uniform."

Apparently, some officers were caught wearing caps featuring sports team logos to court.

"I agree with the Director that you shouldn't wear them in court and you shouldn't have logos," Sewell said.

But he said not all officers should be penalized.

"Find the ones not abiding by the rules and deal with them individually, than punish everybody and make everybody miserably cold this winter," Sewell said.

The administration does give officers permission to wear a specific brand of ear warmers.  But the officers themselves must pay for them.

An MPD spokesperson tells Action News 5 that abuse of privileges was not the foremost reason for this modification.  It was an executive decision to continue uniformity and professionalism.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.