The Los Angeles Times recently got wind of an internal train wreck deputies have known about for some time: Sheriff McDonnell’s plan to spend at least (but probably significantly more than) $300,000 in taxpayer dollars to replace perfectly good and uniform policy compliant silver belt buckles with new brass-colored ones.
While the department asserts that the cost to taxpayers is merely $300,000 in their hard-earned money, this figure does not seem to include the sergeant, deputy and civilian personnel involved in the change as well as responsible for traipsing all over the county to change out the buckles and snaps. All told, the real cost is likely closer to a $1 million. And, as usual under Sheriff McDonnell, the loss of internal and community confidence that results from playing hide-the-ball.
Reports the Times, “Sheriff Jim McDonnell is spending the money on a minor cosmetic makeover of deputies’ uniforms: changing the color of their belt buckles and other metal pieces of gear from silver to gold. That way, the metallic bits — all made of brass — will match the gold-hued tie clips, lapel pins and six-pointed star badges that deputies already wear, McDonnell said.”
Says ALADS President Ron Hernandez: “This [expenditure] is something that would be better suited to a department that’s running like a well-oiled machine, but not a department that’s in turmoil.”