Mesa police changing patches

Katie McDevitt
East Valley Tribune
March 12, 2008 – 10:55PM

Many said the bright, colorful patch put police officers’ safety at risk while some said it was confusing to read. But others bemoan the fact that the shield-shaped, yellow and light blue patch, a unique Mesa icon, is changing after 30 years.
The new patch will be navy blue and silver, and has already begun showing up on the sleeves of Mesa police officers.
“There’s a lot of people that expressed some sentimental value with the previous patch,” said Mesa Police Association president Fabian Cota. “It is a very unique patch, but it’s not tactical. It sticks out in the dark.”
Cota said many officers expressed concerns that criminals could easily identify and target them as police.
For this reason and others, Mesa’s uniform committee has decided to change its patch and its look. Officers will soon begin wearing brushed silver – instead of brass – name tags and sergeants’ patches will be outlined in silver, instead of gold. Officers have until March 2009 to change over to the new patches.
“When you see the uniform, it’s going to be a dramatic change,” said detective Chris Arvayo, a Mesa police spokesman.
Arvayo said the city isn’t spending any more money than is usually spent on uniforms for the new look. And Cota said the union he oversees is going to take a vote to see if the union should provide its members with four patches for free.
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