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Cops Banned From Owning NYPD T-Shirts and Merchandise

By Murray Weiss | January 31, 2012 7:00am
Interim Order
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Billy Figueroa

MANHATTAN — Everyone loves the NYPD.

Souvenir shops around the city sell millions of dollars worth of hats, T-shirts and other tchotchkes emblazoned with the letters "NYPD" or the police department’s logo.

Anyone can own their piece of the police — except the city’s 35,000 cops.

Under a new NYPD directive, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has forbidden New York's Finest from owning any T-shirts, jackets, pins, pens, or any other item with the NYPD letters or insignia on them except, of course, for their own uniform.

No more donuts with coffee in NYPD mugs, either.

Cops can’t even own a NYPD-emblazoned mug and keep it in their home without express written permission.

Sources say the restrictions stemmed from a recent incident where Kelly saw a cop wearing a T-Shirt with the NYPD letters on it with the following military expression: “Kill Them All and Let God Sort It Out.”

According to NYPD Interim Order P.G. 203-06, “Performance on Duty – Prohibited Conduct,” issued Jan. 19, the only time a city cop can display the NYPD letters or department insignia is on their department issued uniform when worn on-duty.

The rule identified "prohibited conduct" as wearing "any item of apparel which contains a Department logo or shield, or in any way identifies its wearer with the New York City Police Department unless approved by the Uniform and Equipment Review Committee, prior to being worn by a member of the service, uniformed or civilian, on or off-duty.”

Also, “the use of the Department logo or shield in artistic or mural forms, in caricature or cartoon-like representation,” the rule says.

“This means no tie clips, money clips, cuff links, label pins or pinkie rings with the NYPD logo,” one official told "On the Inside."

Also forbidden for a cop is putting up the NYPD logo anywhere inside department facilities, including on “walls, muster rooms, entry ways and watercrafts,” the order warns.

“Does that include T-shirts dedicated to Police Officer Peter Figoski?,” one cop asked, referring to shirts memorializing the recently slain East New York officer with a eulogy quote from his daughter, saying, “When a hero falls, an angel rises.”

Given the recent controversies surrounding the NYPD, including the recent scandal over an anti-Muslim film screened at a police training facility, reports that the NYPD and the CIA were surveilling American Muslims, as well as sensitivities that always surround police-involved shootings, Kelly issued the order making such T-shirts impossible to get into the hands of cops.

“The NYPD logo is now on a par with Al Qaeda and bin Laden,” one ranking cop declared when he read the order. “We can’t display them.”

Officials are scratching their head because the order means cops who possess NYPD-adorned keepsakes are presently in violation of the order — and either have to throw them out or get permission to keep them.

Sources say some cops are hoping the top brass will at least decide to grandfather items already in possession of city officers.

Several police unions, including Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the Detective Endowment Association and the Captains Endowment Association, have trademarked their logos and insignias to avoid just this situation.

Calls seeking comment from the NYPD were not immediately returned.