As the days and months of protests continue on, at least one U.S. city has taken to a new way of policing. The City of Buffalo, New York – as a calculated measure of safety – is now permitting its police officers to no longer display their names on their uniforms.
Buffalo’s new rule only requires officers to have their badge number visible on their outermost garment, not their name. Prior to this new rule, police were required under department policy to display their names on their uniforms and faced internal charges if they neglected to do so.
The rule change went into effect earlier this month amid months of clashes with police and angry protesters. The modification came about because officers claimed that some of them had been “doxed,” with their names, addresses and other contact information being circulated on social media; some officers even received threats to themselves and their families.
The effectiveness of the new rule is yet to be seen. After all, it doesn’t take much to link an officer to a badge number, right? That said, it does give some sense of security to the officers and their families, and clearly that is important during these turbulent times.
Although some Cities are seeking ways to protect their officers, it is doubtful the City of Seattle or its Council will fall in line with such a movement. Undoubtedly, this is at least one of the reasons why members of the SPD are seeking employment elsewhere. How things flesh out in Seattle over the course of the next several months will be interesting to see, indeed. Stay tuned – as it is doubtful things between the City of Seattle and its police department are going to be amicable any time soon.
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