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Los Angeles

Vote on uniforms delayed

August 05, 2009|Maeve Reston

The City Council put off a decision Tuesday on a proposal by Councilman Greig Smith intended to resolve a dispute over the uniforms worn by retired officers when they secure and direct traffic on film sets.

Police Chief William J. Bratton has favored new guidelines under which those former officers would have to give up their blue uniforms, similar to those worn by current LAPD officers, because of concerns about the department's image and liability.

Beginning in September, the department planned to require the retired officers to wear a white shirt, black pants and yellow reflective vests, which prompted complaints from the retired officers and some film crew members who said the officers would project a less authoritative image in those outfits.

Assistant Chief Earl C. Paysinger told the council that, in the interest of "a broader accord" between the parties involved, Bratton had agreed to postpone the uniform change and new regulations for film sets to allow more time to work toward an agreement.

"We have every belief and expectation that these discussions will yield positive results that will meet the needs of the city, our department and the entertainment industry," Paysinger said.

Paysinger said Bratton did not support relinquishing his authority over film sets.

At Smith's suggestion, the council agreed to send the proposal to the council's Public Safety Committee to work out a compromise.

-- Maeve Reston

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