By Mary Beth Cleavelin
Sheriff’s deputies in the city will debut a solid, navy blue uniform at shift change Monday morning. No dark brown stripe down the side of the leg and, perhaps most importantly, no stifling material that was the law for decades.
“It’s a more breathable material. They’re excited about the change in that regard,” said Ashley Lanteigne, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office.
The move to blue comes after uniform suppliers reduced inventory of the brown material, pumping up the expense for sheriff’s offices. The change in colors will save Virginia Beach’s office about $61,000 a year, Lanteigne said.
Now, the color change also is legal.
In 2005, the Virginia General Assembly voted to throw out a 1980s law dictating that deputies wear dark brown shirts and taupe pants. Sheriff’s offices across the state can now pick any color they wish to don.
On Monday, a ceremony will take place at 6:15 a.m., and Sheriff Ken Stolle will speak before the night shift deputies make their last exit in the soon-to-be retired uniforms.