Arkansas sheriff digs into clothing budget for fashion statement

Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:19pm EDT
 
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By Steve Barnes

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - An Arkansas sheriff with a similar name to a Wild West legend has spent about half of his office's clothing budget to supply deputies in his mostly urban county with fashionable cowboy hats to top off their uniforms.

Sheriff Doc Holladay of Pulaski County, which contains the capital, Little Rock, said he had the money left in the budget for black felt cowboy hats at $155 each for cooler days and white straw versions at $42 each for warmer temperatures.

Some local media had raised eyebrows about the significant expenditure for the hats.

“They give the deputies a bit of dash,” said Holladay, who used $26,000 from his department’s appropriated clothing budget to purchase two hats for each of his deputies, who have the option of wearing them on patrol.

Holladay said he favored the cowboy hat since it had long been traditional in sheriff’s departments across the United States. 

"We’ve had no standard for headgear in our department and I don’t think ball caps are necessarily the thing to do,” Holladay said, adding the new headgear "looks sharp.”

John "Doc" Holliday was a dentist turned gambler and gunman who joined forces with lawman Wyatt Earp in the famed Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881.

(Reporting by Steve Barnes; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Peter Cooney)

 
A deputy from the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office is seen in an undated photograph wearing one of the new cowboy hats that is topping off the uniform for the department located in and around the Arkansas capital of Little Rock.   REUTERS/Pulaski County Sheriff's Office/Handout via Reuters