White shirts for some of Indianapolis' men and women in blue

Indianapolis police Cmdr. Christopher Bailey sports the new uniform, while Asst. Chief James Waters is seen in the old version.

Story highlights

  • Beginning Friday, some ranks of the Indianapolis police department will wear white shirts
  • Police say the change in attire is not related to any specific incident
  • The new uniform shirt color is aimed at ensuring accountability

(CNN)Some of the men and women of the Indianapolis police force are giving up their blues.

Beginning Friday, blue uniform shirts will be traded for white ones for command staff members of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD).
In a statement, the department said the change is being made as part of its constant effort to ensure "accountability, professionalism and transparency... at the forefront of our day-to-day activities."
    As police departments around the country see more protests over the use of lethal force, IMPD officials acknowledge that this is a time of "increased scrutiny of police operations and tactics," but said the decision to change the uniform for certain ranks within the department is "not related to any specific, individual incident occurring elsewhere in the United States."
    Although it's not a total uniform makeover, police officials said the white shirts will make command-level staff immediately identifiable to those who don't recognize the rank badges on officers' collars, the statement said. The new color will be worn by majors, district commanders, deputy chiefs, assistant chiefs and the chief of police.
    "Command staff personnel have the responsibility of publicly leading from the front, while being accessible to the members of the general public they serve," the statement said. "Those wearing white uniform shirts can and should be viewed as the final point of contact to the police department."
    Some studies have shown that while any police uniform is usually perceived by the public as a sign of authority, lighter-colored uniforms may give a sense of goodness and safety.