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Hendon Publishing

2005 NAUMD Specialized Agency Winner

Spartanburg County Detention Facility
Spartanburg, SC

The Spartanburg County Detention Facility, which was originally part of the Spartanburg County Sheriffs Office, was created as a separate County department in 1971. The detention facility averages approximately 20,000 admissions per year and houses an average of 734 inmates per day. Spartanburg County Detention Facility’s winning uniform look starts at the top with a Stratton campaign hat and that powerful impression carries through the officer’s whole uniform. It is important for detention officers to have a strong “First Line of Defense” appearance. For Spartanburg County Detention officers, it is visibly stated in their uniforms, thus providing a feel of order and security. The Spartanburg County Detention officer greets each inmate with a crisp uniform of dark navy blue pants in polyester with military pleats on both the front and back. The dark trousers are partnered with a French blue polyester blend shirt with pleated breast pockets and button closures. The shirt sports military pleats on both the front and back, and dark blue shoulder epaulets. The department’s patch is displayed on both shoulders. The officers nameplate and sheriffs seven-point star badge have pre-trimmed placement holes and all officers wear a leather duty belt. Officers with the rank of Lieutenant and above, wear white shirts with navy blue epaulets while the winter dress shirts are long sleeved and worn with a dark navy tie.

The dress uniform for this department is very impressive, with “Ike Jackets” done in dark navy with gold buttons, and navy epaulets. The jacket is worn with dark navy polyester blend trousers with a one inch side stripe stitched into the side seam. A long sleeved French blue polyester blend shirt with a dark navy tie is worn underneath. The jacket also displays the department’s patch. Director Larry Powers expressed the thoughts of many of the winning chiefs, in the following statement: “As a law enforcement agency, it is important to present and maintain a professional appearance. In a day and age of casual business attire, I often tell my officers that if they want to work for a department that lets them wear t-shirts, golf shirts, ball-caps, or jeans, they need to find another department, because they are working for a dinosaur. I was brought up in an era where my parents taught me that appearance and first impressions count. This lesson was further influenced by such television shows as Dragnet and Adam-12 as well as the FBI and Military traditions. Therefore, I believe it is always important how officers present themselves. I remember an incident from my early training years that happened in Los Angeles whereby two officers stopped two defendants that (unknown to the two officers at the time of their stop) had already shot and killed an officer in another state. Later, when the defendants were interrogated, they were asked why they did not attempt to shoot these two officers, to which they replied, ‘...they thought about it, but from the officer’s appearance, they looked too squared away.’ The same applies today, whether an officer works the street, a courtroom, or inside the jail, his appearance, demeanor, and actions determine how he will be treated. Subconsciously, we all want to see those who represent order and security in our communities to look and dress in a manner that gives us a feeling of both confidence and comfort in their ability to protect us. An officer who looks and carries himself in such a manner has less trouble, just as the officers who captured those two individuals without a shot. Appearance counts.”

Congratulations to local Dealer, Wright Johnston Uniforms of Columbia, SC and to the Manufacturers who created this winning program: VF Imagewear, Stratton Hat Company, Samuel Broome Uniform Accessories, Propper International, Fechheimer Brothers, Rocky Shoes & Boots, Bates Uniform Footwear, Original S.W.A.T., Magnum USA, and Hatch.

Visit Spartanburg’s winning department, read their history, and visit their community.

Published in Law and Order, Oct 2005

Rating : Not Yet Rated

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