Why don't Police Detectives wear uniforms?

Is it a status thing?

Actually sometimes they do. I explained it in THIS thread.

Many of the duties the Detectives do would be hampered by wearing a uniform.
Surveillance, infiltrating crowds of people, etc., etc., etc. wouldn’t work too well if everyone knew you were a cop.

In some police departments they might as well be wearing a uniform. Sometimes I’ve seen groups of detectives, all wearing the same style of suit and shoes, looking like they just arrived from central casting.

In the short-lived TV series Raines, set in L.A., there seemed to be a set of detectives who wore uniforms and took direction from plainclothes lead detectives. (They didn’t seem to be regular uniformed cops securing the crime scene – they kept working the case with the lead detective.) Does anybody know if this reflects real L.A.P.D. practice, was just made up for the show, or reflects my misunderstanding of what was going on?

In New York City, you’ll sometimes see detectives in uniform, usually at major public events when the police department needs more manpower than the usual patrol bureau can provide. Usually, there’ll be standing together in small knots, conspicuously trying to avoid being lumped together with the “white shield” officer. In addition, after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the NYPD supplemented some of their regular patrol strength by sending detectives on patrol in uniform.

Further, detectives would all have at least a formal uniform to wear at ceremonies like promotions, funerals, awards and the like.

In general, patrolmen (of either gender) need a uniform that shouts “I am a cop” because they are frequently in situations where it must be immediately obvious to the public that they have a police officer’s legal authority. Detectives usually have the leisure to pull out a badge and verbally identify themselves.