New uniforms for deputies

Published 5:17 pm Friday, May 23, 2008

A new image for Pearl River County Sheriff’s deputies includes a new blue hue.

Sheriff David Allison said new uniforms the department has employed, a dark blue shirt with black slacks, have brought a number of compliments for his deputies.

“I think that says a lot when people say you look as classy as the Highway Patrol,” said Patrol Capt. Kelvin Stanford.

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This will be the third time the department has changed uniforms in about the past two decades. In the early 1990s, deputies donned a tan shirt with green pants. That color scheme was changed to blue pants, but keeping the tan shirt, sometime in 2000.

The new uniforms also include a new badge design. Allison said the new badge design has the classic star in the center that represents county residents, surrounded by a circle that represents the protection the Sheriff’s Department is committed to provide.

The new colors were chosen by a process of elimination. After the commanding officers chose two colors they allowed the staff to vote between them. They were given the choice of a dark brown or a dark blue shirt.

Previous uniforms were made of cotton, Allison said. Not only were they warm in the summer months, they required regular maintenance, such as ironing. The new uniforms are made of polyester which requires no ironing and also provides a higher level of air circulation during hot weather and are comfortable and warm in the winter.

“These uniforms are self sufficient. You just wash them, dry them and they are ready to go,” Allison said.

New uniforms were not in the budget but were desperately needed. Allison said he presented the need to the board of supervisors and the county administrator, who were receptive to the department’s needs. Allison said he thanks them for allowing the department to spend the estimated $10,000 on the new uniforms. That price included the badges, patches and the uniforms, Stanford said.

While deputies will keep at least one old uniform for emergency situations so as not to damage the new ones, most old uniforms will be passed on to the DUI and transport officers.

In his first few days in office Allison said he was approached by a number of community members who expressed concerns about the department’s need for new uniforms. They said they would like to see deputies present a more professional appearance.

“In order to be treated professionally, you have to look and act more professional,” Allison said.

Stanford said already since the uniforms were worn on Saturday, he has heard a number of compliments on the department’s new look.

Only months into his new term Allison presents a bright out look on the rest of his administration.

“I love my new job and it’s a pleasure to come to work everyday. The deputies are really stepping up and doing a good job,” Allison said. “They’re actually making my job real easy. I would like to ask the county to continue to pray for wisdom and the protection of the department.”