Policía

There are police officers stationed on many street corners in BA—tonight there was one on the corner where I waited to board the bus, and another at the corner where I got off the bus. They seem more useful/reliable at night, I suppose—during the day I feel like I often see them hanging out together near the McDonald’s, smoking cigarettes. The other day a young policeman was standing in front of me on the bus—presumably off-duty, since he had his headphones on—so I was checking out his uniform. Pretty standard issue, black pants, black shirt, black bulletproof vest, black holster of black weapons. Then I noticed that all of the patches on his sleeves were attached with velcro. I spent the rest of my bus ride pondering the pros and cons of attaching one’s Policía Federal de Argentina and other patches in such a temporary manner. Do you buy basic black shirts, and they hand out the patches at headquarters, including additional stripes when you advance in rank? Do you take the patches off when you wash your shirt? The patches did look much dirtier than the shirt. What if in a tussle a shady character grabs your police patch and runs off with it? I guess at least you’d hear/feel it happening…

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4 Responses to “Policía”

  1. santoki Says:

    That’s kind of fascinating. Admit it. You wanted to rip one off and make a run for it, didn’t you? It seems kind of bizarre if the shirts came with a field of velcro loops waiting to be populated with velcro hooked patches. Do you suppose they have to attach more velcro on to their clothing every time they get a new patch? So very curious.

    For some reason, I don’t remember having a dirty patch issue when I was in the girl scouts. Then again, they were on a sash…

  2. Heather Bisson-Simpson Says:

    My brother is in the (US) Army and all his patches are Velcro now too.

  3. Amy Says:

    How interesting! Do you know why, Heather? (And hi! Thanks for reading!) I started doing some research to try to figure out why, and all I’ve really found is a reason they shouldn’t use velcro—on a website selling a “patch conversion kit” to move your patches from your old to your new uniform, one buyer review says that it was fine running laps, but in Iraq his flag kept falling off during firefights!

  4. Heather Bisson-Simpson Says:

    I really don’t know. As recently as two years ago he had to have them sewn on but last time he was home (last Spring?) they had switched to the Velcro. Next time I catch him online I’ll ask him.

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