(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) For the first time in over a decade, deputies at the Buchanan County Sheriff's Department are wearing new uniforms.
The new all-black uniforms were first worn on Monday and are receiving positive reviews so far.
The change in uniforms will provide beneficial safety and health protections for the deputies that wear them.
Some of the new features the uniforms provide are a ballistic vest that sits on the outside of the uniform. This will allow the uniform to breathe better, which will help in the heat. The vest is also easier to take off in case a deputy is injured.
A new suspender system underneath the uniform will redistribute the weight from the deputy's utility belt, which can weigh nearly 40 pounds. The suspenders will take the weight from the hip and lower back and distribute it throughout the body.
Buchanan County Sheriff Bill Puett says that the last change in uniforms was nearly 14 years ago. Puett wants people to know that while most of the changes in the uniform are mainly for the deputies, people in the community will notice the color change.
"We also want the public to recognize that these are the same deputies that have been serving them proudly for years and years and years," he said. "Still the same folks, everything is the same. Shirt's just going to be a little different color."
Funds to purchase the new uniforms were not from tax payer's dollars. The department utilized drug seizure and inmate security money to purchase the new uniforms.