by Elizabeth Ruiz
Just in time for the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau has reinstated the traditional cowboy hat policy for deputies.
"The policy allows an optional western-style hat to be worn with the Class A uniform," said Sheriff''s spokesman Paul Berry.
While the reinstatement of the policy comes just before the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo February 7-24, Berry told 550 KTSA News the western-style hats can be worn year round.
"During the winter months, a traditional, felt construction,"silver belly" gray hat can be worn. During the summer months, the traditional natural-color straw hat may be worn," Berry said.
Lt. Tom Roach, who has been with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office since 1985, said he likes the idea.
"We are Texas Sheriff's Deputies, and the time-honored tradition of the western hat should be part of our uniform," said Roach.
Wearing her new Stetson, Sheriff Pamerleau said she's heard from several deputies who wnted the western hat to return after it was banned in the 1990's.
"They feel, and I agree, the hat distinguishes them from other police officers and allows citizens to quickly identify them as Sheriff's Deputies," said Pamerleau.
Joel Jannsen, President of the Deputy Sheriff's Association of Bexar County says he'll wear one with his uniform.
"There are quite a few deputies who longed for the days where we could wear them again, and now that we can, they'll be out there," said Jannsen.
During inclement weather, form-fitting, clear plastic covers may be worn over the western headgear. Cowboy hats with a flat brim, or hats with decorations, such as feathers, are not authorized.