Coppers wanted to dress police in kilts

From time to time, cities across the United States run advertising campaigns on behalf of the hard-pressed police officers. In New York, there is one around now with the slogan, "The NYPD needs CPR - Courtesy, Politeness, Respect". The city of Lincoln, New Hampshire, has a campaign too: "Kilts for Cops".

It is not just that the finest of the LPD are proud of their knees. It is more to do with the highlight of Lincoln's summer calendar, its three- day Scottish festival when its puny population of 1,300 is overwhelmed by 35,000 visitors.

Lincoln Police Sergeant Michael Tamulonis (of Lithuanian descent) has for years been nursing an ambition to add a little colour - and knee - to the event by dressing his officers in kilts, socks and tartan hats.

New Hampshire, in the northern corner of the eastern US, even has its own tartan. "It's blue with streaks of purple," Mr Tamulonis reports. "It's really beautiful".

Nor should the kilts impede the officers in carrying out their duties. "The kilts have a belt and that's where we'll wear our duty belt," Mr Tamulonis insists. Attaching guns and handcuffs will not be a problem.

But one problem has presented itself. At $300-$500 (around pounds 200-300) a go, good kilts are beyond the resources of a department with only eight full-time offices and five part-timers.

Help is at hand, however. The local Citizens Bank - a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland - has opened a "Kilts for Cops" account. According to Mr Tamulonis, one cheque of $15 has been deposited by a "woman whom we helped when she was locked out of her car last summer". Maybe she is just hoping for glimpse of those legs.

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