In their classic 1982 article on “broken windows” policing, George Kelling and James Q. Wilson note that while many communities can self-police to some degree, actual uniformed police are essential:
no citizen in a neighborhood, even an organized one, is likely to feel the sense of responsibility that wearing a badge confers. Psychologists have done many studies on why people fail to go to the aid of persons being attacked or seeking help, and they have learned that the cause is not ‘apathy' or ‘selfishness' but the absence of some plausible grounds for feeling that one must personally accept responsibility. . . . avoiding responsibility is easier when a lot of people are standing about. On streets and in public places, where order is so important, many people are likely to be “around,” a fact that reduces the chance of any one person acting as the agent of the community. The police officer's uniform singles him out as a person who must accept responsibility if asked.
Clothes make the man. Investiture is no “mere symbol.”
Pastors who are reluctant to wear clerical collars, take note!