Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office spends more than $26K on cowboy hats
The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office spent more than $26,000 on two kinds of cowboy hats for deputies.
"I wore one just about every day of my life so it feels kind of natural to wear it," said Deputy Elza Kirkwood, who smiles as he wears his white, straw cowboy hat.
Sheriff Doc Holladay said over the past few months, the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office purchased about 140 white, straw Resistol hats at $42.50 apiece and 120 black Stetson hats the sheriff called "a classy look" at $155 apiece.
Holladay said the hat is optional for deputies on patrol, except for events like funerals and awards banquets. He said the hats look "professional," they offer protection from the sun, and it sets them apart from other law enforcement agencies.
"We do it because we're trying to catch up. Every law enforcement agency in the area has a hat and we don't. Now we have a hat," said Sheriff Holladay.
"It improves the overall look of the sheriff's office and maybe makes us look more people friendly," said Deputy Kirkwood.
Nearly 2,000 people voted in a Channel 7 News Facebook Poll. More than 75 percent of people said the money could have been spent on other things, while about 25 percent said cowboy hats are necessary for deputies.