FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Paul Clinton

Paul Clinton

As the POLICE Web editor, Paul Clinton contributes posts about patrol cars, motorcycles, and other police vehicles. He previously wrote about automotive electronics as managing editor of Mobile Electronics. Prior to that, he was an award-winning newspaper reporter.



William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.
Careers

The Bling Factor: Jewelry on Patrol

Avoid most jewelry to stay safe and tactically sound while on patrol.

May 09, 2011  |  by William Harvey - Also by this author


Photo: bigwoodie (Flickr).

Photo: bigwoodie (Flickr).
Photo: bigwoodie (Flickr).

Maybe I'm getting older or out of touch, but we need to address the bling factor while in uniform. Some view it as self-expression and others as a uniform policy statement. Let's add some more factors to this mix, including safety, tactics and uncomfortable situations.

Most departments have a policy or regulation regarding jewelry. The boilerplate verbiage could include a limit of one wristwatch, one bracelet, and one necklace that's not visible to the public. One ring per hand is standard. Earrings are usually allowed for females, and policies may now also cover male officers. OK, that's a general overview. Read your department's policy, if they have one.

I won't address concepts about self-expression, good taste and other supposition. For recruits, let's talk common sense with these suggestions:

Wristwatch

It should be durable and rugged. I would recommend one with lighting or a luminescent dial for night work. Feel free to pick up a watch with alarms and a timer (for breaks). That's all you need. Keep in mind the likelihood of the watch getting scratched or lost. Make a good, sane investment.

Bracelets

Leave them at home. Face it, most shooters in the world are right-handed, and many wear a bracelet on the right arm. If this bracelet has any chance in the world that of getting hung on anything when drawing your weapon, it will get hung, snagged or wrapped around something. Leave the bracelets for pleasure hours. Additionally, if it has any sentimental meaning to you, it will be broken or lost in a torrential downpour or gang-hosted riot and lost forever.

Rings

In a pure patrol setting, I would say don't wear them at all. Before your spouses' send me hate mail, listen to why. First, the reality of a hand or finger injury on duty is a very real possibility. Getting a ring caught or a finger fractured or cut off has happened. I would rather you be injury free. Fraternal rings often beckon problems. I'm not against any of the fraternal groups. I belong to several and have a ring or two. These must be worn prudently. There will always be someone asking for a pass or break if they see you wearing any kind of ring. The troubled drunk may not be a member of the group; still, he'll notice it and ask for a favor, which creates an uncomfortable clamor.

If you like bulky college rings, have you qualified on the range with one? Larger rings will alter your grip on the weapon and can be cumbersome when defensive tactics come into play. In cold weather, your fingers shrink. When you pull off your gloves, the rings will fall off. Leave them at home.

Earrings

The earrings are usually pierced with posts. No dangles. Other piercings should be covered to avoid public display.

Necklaces

I wear one, but it's under my shirt and not visible to the public. Remember, you'll be wearing this under a vest and the medallion will move around. Make sure it's not available to a thug who could choke you with it.

I'm not anti-bling. I have some in the jewelry box. Yet in a tactical environment, it's best to keep it to a minimum. I'm not trying to be a prude but I want you safe and injury-free. And I'd like it if you held on to the ring given to you from your great uncle.

Tags: How-To Guides, Professional Image, Officer Safety


Be the first to comment on this story





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Blog Posts

Fine Line Between Lawful and Unlawful Protests
There will always be issues and decisions that every citizen may not agree with – it is...
Aimpoint Micro T-2 Red-Dot Optic
With its Micro T-2, Aimpoint has taken a proven winner and made it even better by adding...
Fueling the Flames in Ferguson
So far I have exercised what I consider "commendable restraint" in holding back my public...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine