$300K to change uniform belt buckles outrages deputy’s union
LOS ANGELES – A small change to belt buckles and other metal items on deputy uniforms will cost a law enforcement agency $300,000 and a union is outraged.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is spending the money on minor cosmetic uniform makeovers, including changing the color of their belt buckle and metals from silver to gold, the Los Angeles Times reported. The metallic bits — all made of brass — will match the gold-hued tie clips, lapel pins and six-pointed star badges that deputies already wear, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said.
The taxpayer dollars won’t go toward tools such as higher-quality ballistic vests, backup guns or body cameras, all of which are optional items that deputies have to pay for on their own, the LA Times reported.
Officials with the union that represents the bulk of the department’s 9,100 deputies note that the agency is facing a chronic staff shortage and a recurring budget deficit, the newspaper reported.