After watching millions of TV-shows and movies I always thought that detectives and higher ranking officers of the U.S. police force don't usually wear uniforms during their normal work (apart from special official events), in contrast to normal officers patroling the streets. Therefore I always wondered why Deputy Chief Noland always keeps wearing his uniform during the whole runtime of The District.

Is it ever explained why he does this? Is there a special rule for the police of Washington D.C., or does he do this out of his own impulse, maybe to show a special commitment to his job or pride in it (yet what would this say about Chief Mannion not doing so)? Is there any further meaning to this? Or maybe it isn't as uncommon as I think it to be and there isn't much more to it.

2 Answers 2


There could be two reasons that people do this in the real life too -

  1. Since they are the section chief and deputy section chief, they are an authority figure and hence always don the uniform. They are supposed to look after other ranking officers and also are a public figure. Hence the uniform.
  2. Some people are very passionate about their work, and always like to wear their uniforms even if they do have the option not to. An officer who can wear plainclothes might often be seen in uniforms. Such people tend to wear their uniforms as a symbol of pride and duty.

In The District, Chief Mannion is a strict abider and believer in the laws and his duty. Yet you always see him in blazers. While Deputy Chief Noland is always in uniform. There are some official functions that require everyone to don their uniforms. Otherwise, It comes down to personal choices and preferences.


Or maybe it isn't as uncommon as I think it to be and there isn't much more to it.

To give a particularly strong counterexample, the Los Angeles Police Department chiefs are almost always seen with a standard uniform on.

See, for example, Chief Charlie Beck, but a Google image search of LAPD chief turns up a lot of other photos.

enter image description here

  • While I don't have any doubt that they wear their uniforms on official photos and to other official events, do they also do this during their everyday work?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Aug 29, 2013 at 8:37
  • 2
    @ChristianRau See the first sentence of this blog post: lacp.org/2009-Articles-Main/111809-ChiefCharlieBeckAffirmed.htm "Each morning when I wake up and put on this uniform..." Also, see the third article in the series, which shows him without the dress tie.
    – jonsca
    Aug 29, 2013 at 9:32

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