In 'Old West,' Deputy Retires After Cowboy Hat Ban

'I am not going to change,' he says after dress code tweak
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 2, 2015 11:47 AM CST
In 'Old West,' Deputy Retires After Cowboy Hat Ban
A deputy in Wyoming is not about to change his uniform.   (Shutterstock)

The new sheriff of a Wyoming county has banned his deputies from wearing cowboy hats and cowboy boots, a change that led one to retire rather than give up his Western attire. Sublette County Sheriff Stephen Haskell imposed the new dress code in the county that includes Pinedale, which True West magazine recently named a true Western town. Haskell is requiring deputies to wear black trousers, a tan shirt, black boots, and a black ball cap, saying the change is for safety and uniformity. "I had my patrol deputies wearing one uniform, (and) I had detention wearing another uniform. It looked like the Skittles platoon," Haskell tells the Casper Star-Tribune. "We had a rainbow of colors. Who the heck is who?"

Deputy Gene Bryson retired last Friday after 28 years with the department and about 40 years in total in law enforcement. "That's kind of the reason why I retired," Bryson, 70, tells the Star-Tribune. "I am not going to change. I've been here for 40-odd years in the Sheriff's Office, and I'm not going to go out and buy combat boots and throw my vest and hat away and say, 'This is the new me.'" (More sheriff stories.)

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