No More Linen Collars

Sunday, Mar 14, 2010  |  Updated 2:15 PM CDT
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Police uniforms have been updated over the years, but their rule book hasn't.

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For the first time in four decades, the Chicago Police Department's rule book is getting an edit.

Department officials say the approximately 16-inch stack of paper is full of outdated orders and entries.

For example, there's a 1924 rule that officers must wear linen collars with their uniforms. The book also has unnecessary entries, such as an explanation of daylight-saving time.

But the Sun-Times reports some things haven't changed since 1924, like the directive for officers arriving on a crime scene to "render aid to the injured" before doing anything else.

Rachel Johnston is the department's director of research and development. She says the book is a mess and a team of officers and other department employees is cleaning it up.

Their mission is to trim the book by about two-thirds. The team of workers is starting from scratch.

A district sergeant told the Sun-Times he hopes the department will freshen up the writing, too.

"You read these general orders and your eyes start bleeding," he said. "They're so boring."

The revised rules will be posted online later this year.

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