Not So Pretty in Pink

The older boy and I took in a high school football game yesterday. Friday night lights.

Since his little brother and sister were born a few years ago, our football viewing has been limited to one or two games per season. Last night was the home team's next to last game on the schedule and well, our first game to watch in 2009.

The temperature was unusually mild for a late October night game in the Northeast. Fifty degrees with a slight breeze mixed with some moisture in the air, made it actually a great night for players and fans--who are used to scraping ice off of their bottoms during these end of the season contests.

Upon arrival, it was obvious that this was not an ordinary game. Not because the teams are having good years, but because the event was being used as a fundraiser for breast cancer research.

Pink dominates the scene. Some of the players sport pink shoes; other competitors have pink towels or belts. Coaches wear pink hats. Many spectators are garbed in the distinctly "woman/girl" color.

Pink here, pink there, and pink everywhere.

Even the two local agency uniformed police officers working security for the game are wearing bright pink Ts over their department issue shirts. SCREECHHHHHHHHH.... CRASHH!!!!!! What????

The officers are wearing pink t-shirts OVER their uniforms?

I did a double and then a triple take. Yes, two officers, wearing black boots, uniform pants, patent leather duty belts, and bright pink t-shirts.

These fundraiser shirts were all pink except for a cancer survivors slogan printed in small blue letters. There is nothing on the shirt to indicate that these officers are the police.

Look, I am happy that the officers' department is participating in a community fundraiser for cancer research. I also realize that there probably has not been a call for service at one of the football games this year, and these officers are happy to be working an event certainly labled as "easy money."

The contract with the school district pays for uniformed officers not partially uniformed officers. What if these officers were watching the football game (when that one time something does happen), and they are called to respond to a "man with a a gun" incident behind the bleachers?

Are two guys, clad in pink t-shirts, guns drawn, and barking verbal commands readily identifiable as police officers?

If the officers needed to be discrete and approach a potentially dangerous situation cautiously, would it matter that they were wearing the equivalent of neon pink signs?

If the officers plan was to remove the pink shirt if a situation occurred, do you really want two guys running and undressing while in route to the call for service?

Will the officers be able to handle any hot call as effectively as if they were in proper uniform attire?

I argue the answer to all of these questions is a resounding "No!"

I think most of the blame for this lapse in judgment falls on the police chief. By approving this extreme deviation to officer apparel, he/she reduced the effectiveness of the officers, made it less safe for them working the game, and potentially increased the liability on the department.

Again, I am all for officer showing support for such a worthy cause. By all means, donate to the worthy cause, and wear pink ribbons or something small on a uniform.

Please, buy the pink shirt, but then leave it in the patrol car for off-duty activities.


Natalie said...

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month (and always being a fan of pink) I've found most situations of "pink use" hilarious, but I'd have to agree with you on this one that the officers should have just worn a little pin or something on their uniform to show their support. First and foremost they're professionals and need to be dressed as such, no matter what the occasion.

CK Lunchbox said...

Or just wear a tiny pin. From a former military guy's perspective, I understand where you're coming from.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

LOL! Must have looked odd.

I once rebelled against sexist cops ( sexist cop I met) and decided if I were a cop, I should be able to wear pink. My husband quickly informed me that a pink-clad cop was some kind of porn thing. Hey. How the hell was I supposed to know that????

J. J. in Phila said...

My mother had breast cancer, so I do understand the pink part. However, there are times when police need to be readily identifiable as police, especially in crowd situations, like a football game. I agree that this use was inappropriate.

A pink ribbon on the chest or collar would be fine. So would a pink armband. A shirt covering their badges and shoulder patches? No way!

Erin said...

Wow that's crazy.

mrs. fuzz said...

I agree with the pin idea.

Binky Bink said...

Haha, yes, police officers wearing pink t-shirts are just a little too much! I vote for wearing pins to show support, if you're a police officer that is. Love reading your blog!

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the kind words Binky.