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For Cincinnati Police, the White Hat is Back

CINCINNATI (Deb Dixon) -- One of the first things former Police Chief James Craig did was get rid of the white hats Cincinnati Police wore for decades.

One of the first things the new Chief is doing is bringing back the white hats. 

To Chief Jeffrey Blackwell, it's not about style, but rather safety and common sense.  Local 12's Deborah Dixon has more on the fuss over the uniform hats.

The traditional Cincinnati police uniform was white shirts and white hats.  Police Chief James Craig thought white hats made officers targets, and the days of telling them they had to wear one were over.  For Craig there were some left over bad feelings from his years in L.A. 

He said, I remember chasing an armed suspect only to get reprimanded because I left my hat in my car.

Under Craig white was out, hats and all.  The new blue wool uniforms are like L.A. cops.  Then some Cincinnati officers found, that white hat wasn't all bad all the time.

When we're in a crowd working Bengals games or Taste of Cincinnati, its more visible, easier for cops to see us and citizens when they need help.

Executive Assistant Chief Paul Humphries says Chief Blackwell's new hat policy is a common sense one.  It's not a mandate, every time you get out of the car you don't have to have it on.  The white hat is a Cincinnati Police tradition.

By the mid-forties, white hats were so symbolic that an of the illustration was given as a gift from The Enquirer to Cincinnati Police Chief Scott back in 1970.

Most officers Deb Dixon talked with are OK with the new, kinda old, hat policy.  Starting Saturday when it comes to their hats, white is back

Humphries says there are no studies which back up the theory that white hats endanger police officers.

Watch video HERE



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