Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Seattle Police To Get New Dark Blue Uniforms

Seattle Police Department
SPD patches through the years (left to right: 1955, 1972, 2015).

Seattle police will soon have new uniforms and a pilot project on body cameras is about to begin.

The two-tone light and dark blue uniform will be replaced with a solid dark blue outfit, which will also bear an updated patch.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole unveiled the new uniforms Wednesday as well as outlining the body camera project.

The mayor says body cameras will improve community policing and make neighborhoods safer.

"The Seattle Police Department has created a policy that strikes a good balance between privacy and the use of these cameras," Murray said. “This is not an attempt on those expressing their First Amendment rights, such as engaging in protest.”
The police department's East Precinct will train 12 officers in use of the cameras and field deployments will start next week. Police officials will use the trials to decide between two technologies, as well as refine public disclosure processes.

Police and the mayor's office say the cameras will help document arrests and support convictions when crimes have been committed. They will not be used where reasonable people can assume a right to privacy, unless there's suspicion a crime is being committed.

Officers will begin wearing their new uniforms in January.

The Associated Press (“AP”) is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from the AP. Founded in 1846, the AP today is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. The AP considers itself to be the backbone of the world’s information system, serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television, and online customers with coverage in text, photos, graphics, audio and video.