Amid a staffing shortage and regular budget deficits of $250 million, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on cosmetic changes for his deputies’ uniforms.
McDonnell insists the change is important to maintaining the professional appearance of the LA County Sheriff Department's deputies. Changing the color of the belt buckles from silver to gold will make all the little pieces of brass in the uniform, such as the tie clips, lapel pins and six-pointed star badges all the same color, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
The move has generated strong criticism from deputies and others, who argue that it is a gross misuse of taxpayer funds. For the past few years, the department has experienced a staff shortage with around 1,000 professional staff and 300 deputy positions unfilled in order to overcome a recurring annual budget deficit of $250 million. As a result, many deputies are asked to work back-to-back shifts