- Associated Press - Monday, June 22, 2015

PARIS, Ark. (AP) - A northwest Arkansas sheriff said he’s letting his deputies ditch their uniforms for jeans in order to look “less militant” and save some money.

Logan County deputies soon will wear dark jeans or khaki pants with a white shirt during the day or a black shirt at night, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1GuZH24 ) reported. Sheriff Boyd Hicks believes his officers will be more approachable to the public in the new uniforms, which will cost less than $60.

The old, light tan uniforms cost $150, and Hicks said they made officers an easier target at night.

“If somebody on a traffic stop did start shooting at you, you can’t hide,” he said. “You can’t get away.”

Robert Reames has been a part-time deputy for the county for nine years and agreed with the sheriff on the old uniforms.

“They’re too light colored for night work,” he said. “You can be seen too easy after dark.”

Hicks said he’s trying to save some money to help the county build a new 100-bed jail, which could cost $12 million. He took office as sheriff on Jan. 1 and was the former police chief for the city of Magazine.

“I’ve noticed over the last 23 years I’ve been doing this, sometimes the way you dress has an effect on your attitude,” he said. “I want my deputies to have the attitude that we’re public servants but still have the equipment and means to do our job and take care of business if we have to.”

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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