L.A. County Sheriff Dept. spends $300,000 on belts

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials are spending a total of $300,000 on changing uniform silver belt buckles to gold, along with any other metallic pieces.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell, who is in charge of the change, has received various criticisms on wasting taxpayers’ money on such a municipal change. But McDonnell believes that the new addition will “finish off the uniform.”

In an interview, McDonnell said, “The first impression somebody gets of one of our deputies in the field is what they look like when they approach…”

Although the L.A. County Board of Supervisors ‘oversees’ the budget of $3 billion, the sheriff has the power to decide how and what to spend the money on.

A newsletter, titled ‘Inside the LASD,’ also addressed the issue of the color change and the reasoning behind it.

“A consistent uniform appearance is part of the tactical package…The first impression you give can add to your credibility and your safety.”  

So far, $100,000 has been spent on belt buckles and snaps while another $200,000 is set to be spent on additional items such as key holders.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger said in a statement, “With a $3 billion budget, the sheriff is entrusted by the voters of Los Angeles County with the flexibility to allocate department resources where he feels necessary-and I trust his judgement as to administrative matters under his authority.”

The department, however, is facing a few setbacks, including a $250 million shortfall which has resulted in limited staff.

“The whole thing would be no big deal if the sheriff corrected all the other things wrong with our department,” said Sheriff Lt. Brian Moriguchi.

Sheriff Deputies are expected to pick up the new matching gear during their work hours.

See the full story on the LATIMES.COM

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