Steamboat Springs Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins hopes new uniforms will help distinguish his deputies from other law enforcement officers in the county.
The new uniforms consist of grey shirts and black pants that Wiggins said are more traditional and are similar to other sheriff’s departments. The old uniform shirts and pants were navy blue.
“It’s obvious to the general public that this is not the police department,” Wiggins said about the new uniforms. “This is the Sheriff’s Office.”
The uniforms were purchased using money that is budgeted annually for things such as uniforms, holsters and shoes.
“There was no additional expense,” Wiggins said.
He said there is $13,600 budgeted this year for uniforms, which should allow each of the deputies in the 15-person patrol division to have at least four new uniforms each year.
Deputies working in the jail will be using the same uniforms to avoid confusing members of the public.
“We don’t want that misunderstanding,” Wiggins said.
Sgt. Doug Scherar said he thinks the new uniforms also would help distinguish the new administration. Wiggins took office in January 2011.
Scherar said the old dark uniforms highlighted every piece of lint and dirt.
Wiggins said the same problem exists with the all-black patrol cars that were purchased under former Sheriff Gary Wall.
Wiggins said he is not a fan of the black, and he wants to go back to a more neutral color.
“It does not fit well in our environment,” Wiggins said. “They look nice when they’re clean, but it’s hard to keep them looking like that.
“They’re very hot during the summer and hard to keep clean,” Wiggins said.
Sheriff’s Office vehicles are used for about four or five years and are replaced once they reach a certain mileage. Wiggins said four or five cars would be replaced this year with a new look.
— To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com