Baltimore Police 1st went Coatless in 1922
1923 New York City Newspaper Report Showing a Baltimore Police Officer Coatless in Public
The below pic explains this pic, as does the rest of this article
The First day BPD went Coatless was 18 July 1922 but this was limited to our Traffic officers directing traffic
The remainder of the officers in Baltimore would have to wear their coats until 6 June 1925 when Commissioner Gaither issued an order, saying all members of the police department while working between the hours of 8 A.M. and 4 P.M. may remove their coats and go out in their "Shirt Sleeves" provided they wear a clean, and pressed "White Oxford Shirt," with a Black Tie.
1912 – 15 July 1912 – Officers had been wearing coats on duty and off duty, winter and summer, with no chance of going coatless in site. Marshall Farnan said he would be perfectly willing to have his men wear shirtwaist if it were practicable, but he says he doesn’t think it will be. “In the first place,” said the Marshal, “They wouldn’t have any place to put their pistols. [This was a time before the duty belt, wearing of a sidearm on our hip, back then, the gun was simply slipped into a pocket holster, within their coat] "If he had to wear a shirtwaist," continued the Marshal, "he would have to carry his pistol in his back pocket, and probably but in the pocket even at that, it would attract attention and be hard to get out quickly if he needed it." “Of course, a policeman doesn’t often need his gun, but when he does want it he wants it badly, and he wants a quick." That’s the main reason Farnan was so dead set against shirtwaists. HERE
1922 – 18 July 1922 – Traffic Officers will be allowed to appear coatless on job while wearing attractive white Oxford Shirts. These officers will start wearing long sleeve white Oxford shirts with a low, turned-down collar and a black tie as they preside to direct traffic on their assigned street corners.
1925 – 6 June 1925 – General Charles Gaither issued an order, effective, 6 June 1925 all members of the Baltimore Police Department who are on duty between 8 A.M. and 4 P.M. may remove their coats provided they are wearing a white Oxford shirt, and a black tie. This privilege has been granted for the previous two years for department’s traffic officers.
1956 – 29 June 1956 – Casual But Official, Patrolman Donald Miller displayed the latest open-neck short-sleeve police shirts that would be worn for the remainder of the  summer by Baltimore's officers. Police officials stressed that only a specific model Oxford shirt has been approved, thereby eliminating the danger of patrolmen selecting the more brightly colored type shirts of their liking.
17 July 1922
Coatless Day Era Dawns - For Traffic Cop at Last
Beginning tomorrow 18 July 1922 regulators of vehicles and pedestrians will appear on job in attractive white Oxford shirts. The traffic cops start slinging a dog tomorrow. In white Oxford shirts with low, turned - down collars and natty little black four-in-hands they will preside at the street corners.
The era of the perspiring officer in the Go-Go Boxes is at an end. Someone has taken pity on them. Beginning at 8:00 AM tomorrow they will hang up their coats and go to work. Some “friend” of the policemen has donated money for 20 dozen shirts.
Instructions with Shirts
This friend has seen the plight of the cops. The money was not forthcoming from the city, so he relieved their discomfort.
Today four shirts are being issued to each director of traffic. With them go instructions as to the way they are to be worn.
On the left breast there is a pocket, over this the police badge will be pinned. That and the necktie will complete the equipment.
The gift marks one deviation from the custom the police are used to. They are in the habit of paying for all their equipment. Small amounts are taken from each pay until these charges are covered. But the shirts will not cost them a cent. That isn’t the only reason they will be welcome, however. If you have noticed any policemen standing in his “place in the sun” during the past few days, you’ll understand why the heavy coats are not popular and why they’re smiling today over the prospect of cooler times to come. Commissioner Gaither refused to divulge the name of the donor. The money came last week, and Captain Stephen Nelson, of the traffic department, was ordered to get bids on the shirts. [A1]
The patrolman on the beat will continue to wear their coats. It is pointed out that they have opportunities to avail themselves of the shade now and then. But the traffic men had no escape from the heat.
6 June 1925
Coats Off in Court
Coatless men were everywhere. In the Court of Common Pleas, Judge W Stuart Symington told the jurors, lawyers and witnesses that they might remove their coats and make themselves as comfortable as possible. All took advantage of the privilege except the Judge himself.
Mr. Gaither issued an order, effective today, 6 June 1925 that members of the police department who are on duty between 8A. M. and 4 P.M. may remove their coats provided they wear white shirts, white colors and black ties. This privilege has been granted for the last two years for Baltimore’s traffic police.
Unfortunately there is no better copy of this article available. we will look to see if we can find the original.
29 June 1956
1956 - 29 June 1956 - Casual But Official – Patrolman Donald Miller displays the latest open-neck short-sleeve style in police shirts which will be worn for the remainder of the summer by Baltimore officers. Police officials stress that only a specific model oxford hurt has been approved, thereby eliminating the danger of patrolmen selecting the more brightly colored type shirts of their liking.
A1 - Note, there was once a problem with payroll, and checks couldn't be issued, the commissioner General Charles Gaither, paid every officer on the force out of his pocket, he was re-reimbursed, but he didn't want his guys to go without pay, so he took it out of his own funds. While studying intersections working on a traffic safety board of some kind with Triple-A and other Police Chiefs around the country as they tried to establish a national standard for traffic lights. The commissioner of the NYPD felt two lights was enough, Gaither having studied this on his own, knew we needed a third light, he argued without a middle light, pedestrians, and left turning vehicles will be stranded every time a light changes. So, Gaither watched these police on these corners working the GO-GO - Semaphore and other intersections traffic devises. So, when a donation of 20 dozen shirts come in, it is his way of not just helping those he has watched work and admires, but also making sure they all have the same shirts, and they are hurts he approves of. I would bet money he bought the shirts for his men.
These pics were ran to show officers can look more professional in a uniform without a coat than they do sweating while wearing a coat
How to Dispose of Old Police Items
If you come into possession of Police items from an Estate or Death of a Police Officer Family Member and do not know how to properly dispose of these items please contact: Retired Detective Ken Driscoll - Please dispose of POLICE Items: Badges, Guns, Uniforms, Documents, PROPERLY so they won’t be used IMPROPERLY.
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