If you see a York County Sheriff’s Office deputy working in a different uniform over the next several weeks, don’t worry.
The sheriff’s office is testing out new uniform styles to replace the older models that officers have worn for at least 25 years.
Only officers in marked patrol cars will be wearing and testing the uniform options so that the public knows the officer is a legitimate deputy, said York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson.
The most noticeable difference will be deputies wearing khaki colored polo-style shirts with their ballistic vests outside the shirt. The current uniform features a button-down gray shirt with the vest worn underneath.
“We are looking at ways to modernize the uniform and give the deputies more comfort and mobility as they get in and out of patrol cars and respond to calls,” said Trent Faris, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
Road patrol deputies work 12-hour shifts. Newer uniforms would switch to cargo-type pants, similar to what military troops wear, rather than the dress pants that deputies currently wear.
“We are in and out of the cars so much, that being able to take the vest off during down time would make it easier,” said Sgt. Nathan Clark, who supervises a patrol shift in the Fort Mill district. “The pants would make it easier to carry the equipment we need.”
The sheriff’s office star emblem will remain visible on any new uniform, as will the words “York County Sheriff” on the shirt.
The ballistic vests worn outside the uniform, similar to what are used in SWAT raids, will be clearly marked with the word “Sheriff.”
Several uniform options will be tested over the next several weeks.