Published: April 21, 2015
Publication: NY Post
By Carl Campanile
The city’s traffic enforcement agents will continue to wear NYPD blue.
So says Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who torpedoed talk that police brass were mulling replacing their uniforms.
The discussions — reported by The Post last month — provoked a firestorm of opposition from the agents, who worried that wearing distinctive new duds would imperil their safety.
They argued that wearing NYPD blue reduces assaults because the public treats the uniform with more respect and road-ragers are more wary of assaulting someone who looks like a cop.
Unlike police officers, traffic agents do not carry weapons.
Some of the 3,000 agents issue traffic summonses while others direct traffic.
The top-level discussions centered on changing the uniforms of the agents who patrol traffic.
“The safety of all members of the service, including traffic enforcement agents, is always at the forefront of department concerns,” Bratton said in a April 14 letter to Arthur Schwartz, a labor lawyer who represents some of the agents in Local 1182 of the Communication Workers of America.
“The executive staff was assured there were no plans to make changes in the color or design of the current uniform,” Bratton said.
He explained that the department is only considering providing “improved reflection vests and inclement weather gear” for added safety.
Albert Sloh, who along with CWA Local 1182 Manhattan Delegate Shajahan Mohammed organized the petition drive against changing the traffic agents’ uniform, said he was “ecstatic” with Bratton’s decision. “Our union has been dead for years. That is why we don’t have a contract. It is good to see that Commissioner Bratton respects the members,” Sloh said.