The uniform of the U.S. Park Police has a light blue stripe on the trousers. A story Monday about Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev admiring Park Police uniforms misidentified the color.(Published 6/6/90)

Before Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev flew out of Washington yesterday, he had one last idea about reforming his mammoth bureaucracy at home: Spiff up the uniforms for the Moscow police along the lines of those worn by the U.S. Park Police.

"They are thinking of changing the police officers' uniform in Moscow," he said through an interpreter to Park Police Officer John Bussard, one of the two dozen or so officers Gorbachev shook hands with at the Rainbow Pool before taking off in a Marine helicopter, said Bussard's supervisor, Sgt. Paul Johnson.

As Gorbachev walked along a line of District police and Park Police who had escorted his motorcade around town during the five-day visit, he smiled and greeted each officer, including D.C. Police Chief Isaac Fulwood Jr. and Maj. Carl Holmberg, commander of the Park Police's special forces branch.

When Gorbachev got to Bussard, he stopped and inspected him, first head to toe, then left to right. Then Gorbachev reached out and touched the yellow stripe that runs down the side of the officer's trousers.

"He seemed to like the officer's appearance," Johnson said. "When we asked his interpreter what {Gorbachev} was saying, he said that they were thinking of changing the police officers' uniform in Moscow."

"I felt somewhat honored," said Bussard, a motorcycle patrol officer.

Greg Bacon, another Park Police officer who saw Gorbachev close up, said, "There's not that many jobs where you can get so personal with people that you've been reading about."

Gorbachev's helicopter lifted off at 11:48 a.m. from the edge of the Rainbow Pool near the Lincoln Memorial.

Shortly after liftoff, city crews began removing the white road barriers that have blocked traffic near the Soviet Embassy on 16th Street NW and the Madison Hotel on 15th Street NW, where most of the Soviet delegation stayed.

Although Gorbachev's official contact with the District government mostly was limited to the motorcycle police who guided him through the streets, the Soviet leader did shake hands with Mayor Marion Barry at the official White House ceremony.

Gorbachev and Barry, who attended the ceremony with his wife and son, "exchanged pleasantries," said Barry's press spokeswoman, Lurma Rackley.

During his five-day stay, Gorbachev thrilled downtown office workers and tourists on three occasions by ordering his motorcade to stop so he could hold brief sidewalk chats, first near the U.S. Treasury Building, then at Connecticut Avenue and L Street NW and finally near McPherson Square.

Each time, crowds of people sprinted to catch a glimpse of the man, and each time Gorbachev managed to speak to an individual or two among the masses. And each time, D.C. police radio operators were abuzz.

After the helicopter lifted off, a police official announced over the radio:

"Okay, dispatcher, for your information, we want to advise everyone we have wheels up for Motorcade Number One."

Dispatcher: "All units, we have an upcade the Motor One."

"That is wheels up, dispatcher, wheels up."

Dispatcher: "I copy, wheels up for Motor One."

Staff writers Carlos Sanchez and Gabriel Escobar contributed to this report.