Boston Police Commissioner William Evans is calling for the department to require that officers wear name tags on their uniforms in addition to badges.
But the leader of the city's largest police union says the move would be unnecessary and would make officers "targets for miscreants."
While police in other major cities nationwide have worn name tags for decades, Boston police has relied on badges for identifying officers. State law does require officers in Massachusetts to provide their names if asked.
Evans says the addition of name tags would help make the force more transparent.
Lt. Det. Michael McCarthy says the department has been working toward an agreement with the patrolmen's association and the detective's union.
Command staff and superior officers have already started wearing tags with their last names.