L.A. Sheriff Skips Upgraded Body Armor, Instead Spends $300k On Belt Buckles To ‘Keep Officers Safer’

On the left is some chump looking cop who will constantly get his butt kicked, on the right is a BAMF that nobody will mess with. At least, that's what the sheriff is selling.

On the left is some chump looking cop who will constantly get his butt kicked, on the right is a BAMF that nobody will mess with. At least, that’s what the sheriff is selling.

LA County Sheriff Spends $300k Changing Belt Buckle Color

Los Angeles County, CA – Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell has decided to spend a significant amount of taxpayer money to keep his deputies safer. However, he’s not doing it with upgraded body armor, backup guns, or tourniquets. He’s not even outfitting his entire department with Tasers. Instead, $300,000 is going towards replacing the deputies’ silver belt buckles with brass in order to “keep deputies safer.”

LA Times reports that the Sheriff said that the belt buckles would help “finish off the uniform,” and convey to suspects that the deputy is in control.

“The first impression somebody gets of one of our deputies in the field is what they look like when they approach. Are they squared-away looking? Do they have their gear in place? Are they physically fit?” Sheriff McDonnell said.

“Often our deputies are in situations where they’re all by themselves, and they need to exude command presence,” Sheriff McDonnell explained.

Yeah, it’s BS, but there’s no way to know if the Sheriff is drinking his own Kool-Aid. It’s likely that the color was just a pet-peeve of his that he decided to fix. But it’s just as likely that he believes what he’s saying.

One of the biggest signs of an out-of-touch supervisor is one who focuses more heavily on appearance than practicality. Such supervisors aren’t too rare in law enforcement. Horror stories are told of supervisors who arrive at the scene where a suspect was attacking an officer, but rather than check on the officer, the supervisor criticizes the officer for not wearing their hat.

This extreme focus on appearance is academy-level stuff where the academy instructors yell at recruits about how citizens and criminals can’t have any respect for them if their boots aren’t shined or their brass isn’t polished.

Don’t get me wrong; there is something to be said for keeping a neat, professional appearance. However, once officers are on patrol, most of them realize that the shine on their boots won’t keep them from being shot. Unfortunately, those who don’t realize this are often promoted.

As far as supervisory horror stories on appearance, Sheriff McDonnell’s change isn’t that bad. It really has no effect on the officers besides spending money on something that really shouldn’t be a priority.

Do you think that the Sheriff is right to be so concerned about the deputies’ buckles? Am I off-base here? We’d like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.

  • Arcing

    I say bright shiny objects make for nice targets, no matter brass or silver, of course we don’t want to appear too intimidating and wear all black (or navy blue), and move like a ghost thru the night. Lets wear silver and white cause it’s cooler in the sunlight, looks more like a suit than a uniform and people respect it more. Talk about losing touch…

  • Lynn B

    Another F ing IDIOT !!

  • David Cobb

    300K on buckles, the guy is nuts. Spend the 300K on equipment that matters. That buckle isn’t going to do shit when push comes to shovel, the guys a joke.

  • David Douglass

    Or…..using a military tactic used in Vietnam, they could make the criminals-enemies believe the officer=soldier has a larger manhood by air dropping extra large condoms in neighborhoods or….adding extra large protective cups to increase the bulge in the officers’ trousers…..greatly intimidating the criminal due to personal insecurities. Yup ….it’s sure to work.

  • John von Colln

    Translation: ~ A relative of mine owns the factory that manufactures the buckles.

  • james fordyce

    Our local Sheriff’s Dept. can not afford to purchase enough TASERS to equip all of the officers, they have to share and move what few they have between cars and shifts, all the while Departments like L.A. County has enough money to waste on Belt Buckles. Now does that seem right to you?

  • James S.

    Switch to the velcro system it doesn’t have a buckle, that would really piss this loser off. 🙂

  • CharmsDad

    Los Angeles… that explains it. Any place with rational people would find this a ridiculouisly idiotic expense, but clearly California is lacking when it comes to rational people.

  • SoCalCop

    I checked twice to see if this article was from, “The Onion”. Sadly, it’s not. SMH

  • Ronald Bryant Jr.

    Yeah, but now the belt keepers and tie clip don’t match, and oh suhweet jeezus how are we going to accessorize with the new colors? Seriously, did his wife put him up to this? Did this jackwad get voted in, or was he appointed?

  • Mike Hanson

    How about getting rid of that bright shiny tie bar located right at heart level.

  • jsl55

    What else would you expect from the loony land of Los Angeles County?

  • Suzie Day

    Hey Sheriff…just curious how many tasers you could, should have, bought with that $300,000? Heres another question, seeing not all of your patrol deputies are not equipped with a taser each shift how long does it take for them to get one to the scene of an incident when its needed? You are forcing your deputies to go right to deadly force by not equiping them all with a taser but I do see why you chose belt buckles over the tasers, you are a complete moron and very out of touch with what would help an actual patrol deputy… Way to go sir next time I run into one of your Deputies I will make sure to mention their appearance of authority and how intimidating their belt buckle makes them look!

  • JPDawg27

    Totally ridiculous. I defy him to cite one instance where a belt buckle made a difference. This sounds like it was floated by some ivory tower, never was much of a cop anyway, staff weenie looking to grab the next seat at the FBI National Academy jackwagon.

  • John Franklin

    Well, I’m sure that this move will lift morale IMMEDIATELY! (sarcasm intended)

  • William Gib Harrison

    Ridiculous! I retired from law enforcement and I had supervisors just like this. More concerned about finding fault rather than helping you or praising you for job well done. This is one of the most extreme things I e heard done.. so sad

  • AMD Guru

    Very stupid! Sad a leader can be so out of touch with reality. Waste of money. Should have been spent on something that promotes officer safety.

  • SrAgri

    The guy spent $300K on belt buckles? I’d call for an audit. That seems really suspicious.