|Some ideas in the name of political correctness are so patently and obviously dumb it seems difficult to believe anyone actually came up with them.Case in point: a decision by the Toronto Police Services Board this week directing Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair to make name tags mandatory on police officer uniforms by the end of the year.|
Proponents argue that having officers’ first initial and last names on their uniform for all to see, rather than just a badge number, “humanizes” cops and fits with the force’s community policing initiative.
It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it, doesn’t it?
That’s one of the problems when you put a bunch of civilians in charge of a paramilitary organization. These people have never patrolled a dark alley in the dead of night, chased dangerous people over fences or taken down drug dealers who might be desperate enough to kill them.
The Toronto board argues that because some other police services in Canada and USA have name tags, its officers should, too.
Would you be as willing to put yourself in a dangerous situation, knowing the bad guys have your name, making it easier for them to harass you or your family?
You can bet a lot of Toronto cops will be hurriedly getting unlisted phone numbers if they don’t already have them.
The argument for having cops’ names visible will make it easier to lodge complaints against officers simply doesn’t fly. All you need is an officer’s badge number to lodge a complaint, leading to an internal investigation by the force. A name adds absolutely nothing to that.
Niagara Regional Police do not have name tags on uniforms.
Let’s be honest about what this is really all about: a police force still stinging from allegations of racial profiling, thanks to a series by the Toronto Star a while back, painting cops as racists because statistics showed they were more likely to pull over people of colour. It’s about a force trying to soften its image.
But cops aren’t clerks in a store or a fast food restaurant: we give them guns, send them into harm’s way to protect us and–if necessary–authorize them to use lethal force in the line of duty.
Anything that has the potential to put them in any additional danger is just wrong.
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