The Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers' union has filed a grievance with the agency to halt the adoption of a new chukka-style duty boot for patrol troopers that the union says creates an unsafe working condition.
The Ohio State Troopers Association (OTSA) hopes to halt the planned Nov. 1 roll-out of the boot. The union says the buckle-and-strap boot known as a buckle chukka would replace a leather athletic-style lace-up chukka favored by troopers, reports the Columbus Dispatch.
An agency spokeswoman said discussions will continue with the patrol union before an arbitrator hears the grievance.
"It's management's right to determine the equipment troopers will wear while on duty," Lt. Ann Ralston told the Columbus Dispatch. "At the same time, we would never compromise officer safety."
The association has been posting photos and a video of the boot on its Facebook page, arguing "how easy it is to step out of the shoe." A Monday post with a photo called the footwear inappropriate for road troopers.
"Our trooper (two actually) sent this in with the note that they by the time they arrive at post from their homes, the buckle chukka has disengaged the tongue of the shoe," the post read. "The point is obvious and 'officer safety' drives the need to change the current policy that requires wearing this shoe for road patrol."