The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is spending $300,000 to change the color of deputies’ belt buckles and other pieces of gear from silver to gold.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell said the change is needed to maintain a professional look, so the belt buckles and other gear will match the gold badges, tie clips and lapel pins that deputies now wear. He said the coordinated look will send the message to suspects that the deputy is in charge.
Members of the deputies’ union have criticized the spending, stating that the money should be used for more pressing needs, like addressing the department’s chronic staff shortage and recurring budget deficit.
The department has spent $100,000 out of its general fund for belt buckles and snaps, and plans to spend $200,000 for baton rings and key holders in the next fiscal year. (Source: Los Angeles Times, March 14.)