IW Sheriff’s Office debuts new uniforms

Published 5:36 pm Friday, April 12, 2019


Those who encountered an Isle of Wight County sheriff’s deputy on Monday may have noticed something different about the officer’s appearance, and according to Sheriff James Clarke, it’s no April Fool’s Day prank.

Effective April 1, the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office will use an all-blue uniform.

The reason for the change, Clarke said, is cost effectiveness. The standard uniform for a newly hired deputy will now cost the department $200 less than the previous black and khaki uniforms. There will also now be a quicker turnaround in a deputy receiving his or her uniform, the sheriff added.

“Previous orders were eight to 12 weeks,” Clarke said. “Now, the expectation of receipt will be two to three weeks. The shirts are lighter, flexible and more comfortable.”

On the long-sleeve shirts, deputies will now have hashmarks on the left sleeve signifying their years of service in law enforcement. Each hashmark represents four years of service. The Sheriff’s Office will also be transitioning to a new navy blue outer ballistic vest, which will give deputies the opportunity to adjust during shift and give a better range of motion. It can easily be removed when applicable, such as in extreme heat.

“I believe citizens aren’t really concerned with the color of the uniform when they call for help,” Clarke said. “They’re just happy someone showed up. Our hope is the community will be receptive to our new look.”