Newly elected Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau has reinstated "an optional western hat policy" for deputies, according to a statement issued by the Bexar County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday.
“I have heard from many deputies that they wanted the western hat to return,” Pamerleau said in a statement. “They feel, and I agree, the hat distinguishes them from other police officers and allows citizens to quickly identify them as Sheriff’s Deputies.”
The western hat was banned in the 1990s by a previous sheriff as part of a new uniform policy.
Pamerleau said deputies would be required to purchase the hats on their own if they wish to wear them.
According to the new policy:
- Deputies, who are so inclined may wear specific western headgear with their standard Class A uniform.
- During winter months a traditional, felt construction, “silver belly” gray hat can be worn.
- During summer months, the traditional, natural color straw construction hat may be worn.
- During inclement weather, form-fitting, clear plastic covers may be worn over the western headgear.
- The Western hats with a flat brim, or hats with decorations, such as feathers, are not authorized as part of the policy.
- Wearing the western headgear is not mandatory.