by ANNA BROWN
Sheriff David Taylor said he intends to be a sheriff for all of Union County and he wanted a symbol to reflect this.
That’s why as new patrol cars replace the old ones in the office fleet, they will sport a new color scheme of gold, maroon and blue.
Gold is one of the school colors for Union County High. Maroon represents the school color of Lockhart High and blue for Jonesville High, both of which were consolidated with Union High in 2007.
One vehicle already has the new color scheme. It is a Chevrolet Tahoe used by deputies to check U.S. Forestry Service parks. The sheriff’s office obtained the vehicle before Taylor took office through an agreement with the Forestry Service. Using a new method of freshening up a vehicle, Renntech in Jonesville wrapped the formerly green Tahoe with white vinyl and added the new design and color stripes.
“I talked with Troy Champion, who is over fleet services and he said it was such a cost to get vehicles painted that we looked at other options,” Taylor said. “We had the vehicle wrapped by Renntech and (Chad Gault) and I put together the new stripe design.”
Taylor said he told Gault he wanted the new design to reflect unity and he showed Gault the badge style he intended to use.
“He worked with that style of badge and he came up with the design on the vehicle,” Gault said. “Using the colors will help show that the sheriff’s office means to unify the county and protect the whole county with the services of the sheriff’s office.”
Taylor said vehicles with the new design also will have the Crime Stoppers number on them.
All of the changes to the Tahoe were paid for with Forestry Service funds, Taylor said. The wrap is an experimental process and Gault charged only for the material and the design, around $1,500. In July, the sheriff’s office will get several new vehicles with the new design.
Taylor said plans are to enter the vehicle in a design competition against vehicles from other law enforcement agencies.
Deputies also will be getting new uniforms.
“Our summer uniforms will be different,” Taylor said. “The white shirts will be gone.”
Both the new uniform shirt and pants will be made in America by Milliken & Co. The dark blue shirts are 66 percent “Cool Max” a new material, and 34 percent polyester.
“They are supposed to keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter,” Taylor said.
Chief Deputy Perry Haney said the shirts are machine washable and cost less than the uniforms now worn by deputies. Gray uniform pants will remain much the same, but will have a navy stripe instead of a black stripe.
“We will almost be able to buy two sets of uniforms for what they were paying for one,” Taylor said.
Uniforms for jailers will change. They now are wearing navy BDU’s — military style pants with flaps and a white shirt and necktie.
“We’re going to a more comfort shirt,” Taylor said. “A slip-over two-button shirt with embroidered badge and khaki colored BDUs.”
Taylor said he plans on deputies keeping the traditional campaign style hat for funerals and other dress events. He said a sheriff’s office ball cap may be issued for normal working hours.
Taylor said grant money will primarily fund 22 new bullet-proof vests for deputies. Taylor said a check of the office’s inventory showed 21 vests had expired past the point of recommended usage.
The new vests are made by Protective Products to specifications of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Taylor referred to an article in the January issue of “Police Magazine.”
“An officer wearing this vest was shot at point blank range with a shotgun and survived,” he said.