Sheriff's deputies get a new look for 2011

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

The Sheriff's Office has changed uniform color, from brown and tan to black and gray. It was my desire to make a change in 2009 when I first took office, much like Sheriff Saba did 26 years ago when he first became sheriff.

Sheriff Saba changed his agency from a silver-colored trouser to the brown trouser with tan stripe. My desire was to change the uniform to a more progressive, yet still professional-looking, black and gray, but the slumping economy made that change impossible due to the financial burden purchasing new uniforms would cause my employees.

A few months ago, we were informed that the supplier of our current uniform was no longer going to produce the brown uniform trouser that we wear. We tried brown pants from other suppliers, but each had a different shade of brown, from a deep chocolate color to a greenish-brown. We just could not match the current color, which meant we had to make a change. I felt this was our opportunity to make the complete change to black and gray.

We were fortunate enough to be making this change at a time when the employees were receiving a uniform allowance check. We supplemented that with seized funds to limit the burden on the deputies. By doing this, we were able to make this change without a single extra tax dollar being spent.

The new uniform will be accented by a new shoulder patch. Most law enforcement agencies consider their patch to be their trademark. We have created a new patch design that is clean, professional, unique, and incorporates our six-point star as well as both the Georgia and American flags.

After the change, which went into effect on Jan. 1, we began collecting the old uniforms, and will be donating them to smaller agencies that still wear the brown and tan, but may not be able to afford new uniforms. Our hope is to help them supplement their uniform budget in this tough economy.

Making positive changes and helping smaller agencies along the way -- I am grateful to be able to start off the new year in such a positive way. If you have any questions about our new uniforms, or would like to provide feedback, please call my office at 229-430-6508. Thank you and have a wonderful new year.

Sheriff Kevin Sproul is a longtime resident of Dougherty County. He is a graduate of Albany High School, Darton College and LaGrange College of Albany. Sproul has been employed with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office for 28 years and can be reached at (229) 430-6508.