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Arkansas Sheriff’s Office drawing criticism for spending $26K on cowboy hats that “enhance their look”

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The deputies of the Pulaski County Sherriff’s Dept. now have an “enhanced look”– which is raising some eyebrows among members of the community.

In recent months, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office spent more than $26,000 on two kinds of cowboy hats – a white, straw one and a black Stetson hat.

In a Facebook poll conducted by ABC7, 77% of voters said the money could’ve been spent on other things.

250 hats were purchased in all. The black Stetsons– which Sheriff Doc Holladay says have a “classy look”– were $155 apiece. The much less expensive straw, Resistol hats – $42.50 each.

Holladay says the hats “complete the uniform.” It’s optional for deputies to wear while on patrol. They’re only required to wear the hats for events like funerals and awards banquets.

The hats have several different functions–they provide protection from the sun and they also set the agency apart from others in the area. The overall reaction from the deputies has been positive.

“It improves the overall look of the sheriff’s office and maybe makes us look more people friendly,” said Deputy Elza Kirkwood.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Actually it’s a smart move. As a peace officer I wear a wide brim western style hat. Not for fashion but because my dermatologist recommends it as a preventative against SKIN CANCER. Ball caps and garrison style caps offer NO UV PROTECTION what so ever. A hat with a 4″-5″ brim will offer cover to the brow, nose, ear, and neck areas. Wearing wide brimed hats and using sun block can reduce the risk of skin cancer by about 60%. This should please the HR and Risk Management folk. I would strongly suggest a palm hat over straw. More durable and they hold a crease better. As a long time western hat wearer, there is a code of “Hat Etiquette”, this is even more important when a hat is part of your daily dress. I’ll see if I can find an e-mail address and send you a copy. Again, this is a very smart move by a Sheriff that is looking out for his troops. I applaud your actions.

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