YORK COUNTY, SC (YCSO NEWS) – Beginning Monday, October 7, 2019, York County Sheriff’s Deputies will have a new uniform for patrol duties. The new uniforms are khaki shirts, with green BDU style pants. The uniform includes a black bullet proof vest carrier with the word “Sheriff” written on the front left and back. The khaki shirt will also be labeled “Sheriff” on the front left chest with badge design on the right front chest. The back of the shirts will also read “York County Sheriff”.
In October 2018, several Deputies participated in a trial period testing different uniform styles. Those who participated in the testing chose these uniforms for their comfort, durability, and practical day-to-day usefulness.
“Other than the visual changes, the health benefits of this new style of uniforms is one of the key reasons we chose to move to this new uniform,” said Sheriff Kevin Tolson. “The comfort, safety, and long term health benefits for our deputies is very important.”
The average police officer carries approximately 30 pounds of equipment. Over time this weight can cause physical problems, such as lower back pain, pushing on nerves, or pressing down on the officer’s waist, causing hip pain.
Carrying the weight of the equipment on the torso of the body versus the waist helps relieve stress on the lower back and hips. In addition, the outer vest carriers allow Deputies to take them off while in the office completing paperwork. In addition, the green BDU style pants also have more cargo pockets for equipment versus the dress style black pants. From a price point, the new uniforms are cheaper and more durable than the former grey and black.
At this time, the grey and black uniforms are not going away entirely. Those uniforms are referenced as Class A uniforms, and will continue to be worn by administrative staff Lieutenants, Captains, Major, and Sheriff for special events and speaking engagements.
Sheriff Kevin Tolson would like to inform York County citizens, if you are met by a Deputy in this new style of uniform they are indeed a Deputy with the York County Sheriff’s Office. Most Deputies wearing the uniforms will still be driving fully marked sheriff’s office patrol cars. However, if citizens have concerns about an encounter with a Deputy in these new style uniforms, they are encouraged to call 9-1-1 or 803-628-3056 to confirm with a York County dispatcher the person is a Sheriff’s Deputy.
The last complete uniform change for the York County Sheriff’s Office was approximately 30 years ago. Sheriff George Eaton moved from a khaki and brown uniform to the grey and black style.