240 – Dress Code

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Policy

All Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) employees shall observe the dress code whether wearing uniform or non-uniform attire. Appearance among HCSO personnel should always exemplify professionalism. Every employee shall conform to the dress code applicable to his or her duty assignment.

The HCSO uniform may be worn by authorized personnel only when on-duty, when working authorized extra-employment, or when specifically authorized by the employee’s supervisor. [CALEA Standard 41.3.4]

All personnel shall practice good personal hygiene and grooming behavior.

When reporting for duty, employees shall present themselves in clothing that is clean and pressed with accessories that are polished and in good condition.

No part of the HCSO uniform may be worn separately unless otherwise noted within this policy or with supervisor authorization.

All uniformed HCSO personnel shall arrive for duty in full issued uniform. Personnel shall not dress or undress in areas within the public view (e.g., parking areas).

Definitions

Articles of Faith: Head covers, clothing, jewelry, objects, symbols, and other items of dress of religious significance that are firmly established within the employee’s religion where the religious belief requires wearing the items that differ from the HCSO dress code.

Formal Occasions: An employee funeral, promotional or award ceremony, certain mandatory meetings or functions, and any other occasion so deemed by the Sheriff.

Medical Necessity: A bona fide medical condition documented by a physician and the HCSO medical director that may be reasonably accommodated regarding the agency’s dress code and within the course and scope of the employee’s normal job duties.

Official Uniform: The set of uniform items issued to employees and approved for wear by the Sheriff.

Religious Grooming Customs: Deviations from the HCSO dress code that are firmly established in the religion of choice by the employee and may be reasonably accommodated within the course and scope of the employee’s normal job duties.

Personnel Grooming

Male Personnel

Haircut

Hair shall represent conservative and professional standards. At the back of the head, hair shall not extend further than the top edge of the uniform shirt collar while the head is held erect. At the side, it shall not extend further than one-third of the distance down from the top of the ear.

Hair must not interfere with the proper wearing of the uniform hat.

Hair shall be of a natural hair color and shall not be worn in unusual ways as to detract from the professional appearance of the uniform.

Unusual styles include, but are not limited to: abnormal coloring or multi-coloring, carvings, ducktails, ponytails, dreadlocks, mohawks, mullets, etc.

Facial Hair

Employees shall be permitted to maintain the following approved styles of facial hair:

  • Clean Shaven – No facial hair (Fig 1).
  • Mustache – hair below the nose and above the upper lip (Fig 2).
    • Shall be trimmed and not extend below the upper line of the upper lip.
    • If worn alone, may not extend below the corners of the mouth.
    • Extreme styles such as handlebar mustaches are prohibited.
  • Goatee – a mustache that extends down around the side of the mouth and joins hair on the chin, also referred to as a circle beard (Fig 3).
    • Shall be worn with a mustache.
    • The cheeks, jaw line, and neck shall remain clean shaven.
  • Natural Beard – also referred to as a full set (Fig 4).
    • Shall be worn with a mustache.
    • Shall cover the complete jaw line.
    • Cheeks shall be shaved on and above the cheekbone.
    • The neck shall be no more than one (1) inch below the jaw line.

The following styles of facial hair are NOT permitted:

  1. Chin Strap Beards – Beards that are trimmed to a thin line along the jaw.
  2. Patchy Beards – Beards of uneven or patchy growth.
  3. Stubble – Beards shorter than 1/16th of an inch.

All facial hair shall conform to the following restrictions:

  1. The bulk of the beard (distance that the mass of facial hair protrudes from the skin of the face shall not exceed ½ of an inch and kept trimmed to a consistent length;
  2. The beard will consist of a naturally-occurring hair color;
  3. No designs may be shaved into facial hair;
  4. Facial hair must be neatly sculpted and trimmed at all times.

Supervisors shall ensure employees conform to an approved style of facial hair.

NOTE: This policy recognizes that facial hair rate of growth may vary for different employees.  As such, employees will be allowed a reasonable period of time for their facial hair to “grow in”.

Fingernails

Fingernails shall be kept clean and neatly trimmed. They shall be uniform in length and not excessively long. One nail on the hand shall not be grossly longer than the other nails. Polish, if worn, must be either clear or colorless.

Piercings

Earrings or body piercing jewelry that is exposed to public view may not be worn.

Female Personnel

Hair

Hair shall be neat and shall not fall below the yoke line on the back of the uniform shirt. Hair shall represent conservative and professional standards. Hair may not be worn in an exaggerated style but may be braided or pinned in order to comply with length requirements.

  1. Hair shall be of a natural hair color.
  2. Unusual styles include, but are not limited to: abnormal coloring or multi-coloring, carvings, mohawks, exaggerated raised or sculpted hair styles, etc.
  3. Uniformed female deputies’ hair shall not be worn in a style that would prevent or interfere with the proper wearing of a respirator, riot helmet, or the uniform hat.
  4. Barrettes, combs, or other items used to confine or ornament hair must closely approximate the color of the hair or the main color of the uniform shirt or pants.

Makeup

All facial makeup shall be limited to natural, neutral tones and shall be used conservatively and sparingly. No dark, metallic, or extreme-colored makeup is allowed. Eye makeup shall be confined to the upper and lower eyelid.

  1. The use of shiny or fluorescent eye shadow is prohibited.
  2. Lipstick and / or lip gloss shall be of light, natural colors.
  3. The use of neon, bright, and other extreme shades of lipstick and / or lip gloss is prohibited.

Fingernails

Fingernails shall be kept clean and neatly-trimmed, promoting a conservative and professional appearance.

  1. Fingernails shall be uniform in length.
  2. Fingernails shall not be excessively long.
  3. Uniformed female deputies’ fingernails shall be manicured to no longer than one-quarter (0.25) inch past the longest part of the nail bed.
  4. Fingernails shall not be covered with fluorescent, neon, gold, silver, or any metal-colored polish or otherwise be flashily colored, designed, or ornamented.

Earrings and Body Piercings

With the exception of a single stud earring in each earlobe, body piercing jewelry that is exposed to public view may not be worn.

Prohibited earrings and piercings include:

  1. Hoop-style earrings of any type,
  2. Fish hook style or dangle earrings of any type, or
  3. Any exposed body and facial piercings.

All Personnel

Jewelry

While on duty, all personnel will refrain from wearing excessive or gaudy jewelry. Uniformed personnel shall not wear necklaces that are exposed to view. Uniformed personnel are permitted to wear identification or medical alert bracelets only. While on duty, uniformed employees may wear one (1) watch and one (1) ring per hand.

NOTE: Religious, political, or other “freedom of expression” jewelry of ANY kind shall not be visible to the public eye.

Courtroom Attire

When appearing in court representing the HCSO, all personnel shall be dressed as if on duty and in accordance with this code. Special assignment or utility-type uniforms may not be worn.

Glasses and Sunglasses

All eyewear shall be conservative in color and style.

Body Art, Tattoo, Body Piercing, and Mutilation Prohibition

HCSO employees may reveal tattoos in accordance with the procedures set forth herein this policy with the following exceptions. Any tattoo, body art, or branding that displays any design, logo or wording will be regulated in the following manner for all employees:

Tattoos, body art, and/or brands are prohibited that are offensive, inappropriate and/or presents an unprofessional appearance. This includes, but not limited to those that are:

  1. Racist,
  2. Gang Related,
  3. Sexually Suggestive or Explicit,
  4. Depicts Hatred, or
  5. Undermines the HCSO Department Values.

Tattoos, body art and branding of the head, face, neck, and ears are absolutely prohibited. This includes but is not limited to:

  1. Foreign objects inserted under the skin,
  2. Pierced, split, or forked tongue, and
  3. Stretched-out holes in the ears (gauges).

Exception: Cosmetic tattooing

Tattoos on hands are not encouraged, but will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Cosmetic tattooing and wedding band tattoos are allowed if it is within reason and if it does not present a gaudy appearance.

The use of gold, platinum, silver, or other veneer caps for the purposes of dental ornamentation is prohibited. Teeth, whether natural, capped, or veneered, shall not be ornamented with designs, jewels, or initials, etc.

The Sheriff and/or Chief Deputy shall reserve the right to ask any employee to cover a tattoo that is deemed unprofessional.

Sworn Personnel Requirements

Off-Duty Requirements

Department Identification, Badge, and Weapon

While off duty, deputies shall carry or have in their immediate possession their HCSO-issued badge (optional: employee-purchased HCSO wallet badge), valid HCSO identification, and an approved firearm.

This section shall not apply when the deputy is engaged in activities (e.g., sports) that make carrying such identification and weapon impractical or impossible or during activities such as attending educational classes, attending a place of worship, or traveling outside the State of Texas. [CALEA Standard 22.1.6]

Exception: The requirement to carry a firearm is optional, and this section shall not apply when:

The deputy is under the influence of alcohol or in an environment where he or she may consume alcohol. The deputy is strongly encouraged to consider the totality of the exigent circumstances and actual need for an immediate response before acting. A deputy taking law enforcement action while impaired may not be considered as acting within the course and scope of his or her employment.

Inconspicuous: While not in uniform, deputies shall not wear or carry their service weapons in a conspicuous manner or in plain view.

On-Duty Requirements

Identification, Badge, and Weapon

Deputies attired in civilian clothing shall visibly display their badges while on duty, on or near HCSO premises, or while involved in an investigation. Handcuffs and service weapons shall be carried in a manner so as not to be provocative or offensive.

For all other public activities, the badge, handcuffs, and service weapon must be inconspicuous at all times.

Uniformed Personnel Requirements

Weapons

All weapons and equipment that are worn or used by a deputy in the performance of duty must be approved by the HCSO.

Fully-Loaded Weapon

All uniformed deputies shall carry a fully-loaded firearm.

Additional Ammunition

In addition to a fully-loaded firearm, uniformed deputies will carry two (2) complements of extra ammunition (i.e., two speed loaders – 6 rounds each, 12 cartridge loops – 12 rounds, two magazines – fully loaded).

General Equipment and Accessories

Uniformed personnel shall wear the Sam Browne or nylon duty belt, firearm, and authorized accessories at all times when in uniform. This shall include all times entering or exiting HCSO facilities and all other times when exposed to public view.

Exception: Deputies assigned to Harris County administration and detention facilities shall not be required to wear a Sam Browne or nylon duty belt while on duty and inside the facility except as directed by a supervisor. However, a deputy’s Sam Browne or nylon duty belt, firearm, and other equipment should be easily accessible to the deputy at all times. [CALEA Standard 22.1.6]

Unserviceable Equipment or Uniform

If a HCSO-issued part of the uniform becomes unserviceable, the employee shall return the item to Uniform Supply for replacement in accordance with established procedures. [CALEA Standard 22.1.6]

Name Tag

The HCSO-issued name tag shall be worn on the uniform at all times.

Emblems

Uniformed deputies assigned to special duty status, such as Honor Guard, Motorcycle Unit, or firearms instructor, may wear approved emblems representing the duty status. [CALEA Standard 22.1.6]

Body Armor

Body armor shall be provided to all sworn personnel and authorized for issue by the Homeland Security Bureau commander. The type and quantity of body armor issued will be determined by assignment and shall be worn in accordance with bureau policies. Body armor carriers will be made available for purchase through the HCSO-approved vendor to employees desiring additional carriers beyond those provided.

Inner Carrier: Approved for wear underneath regulation-issued and Class A uniform shirts.

Outer Carrier: Approved for wear over the regulation-issued uniform shirt.

  1. Outer carriers may have a sewn-on cloth badge and cloth name strip.
  2. The HCSO-issued badge, name plate, and buttons may also be worn with the outer carrier.
  3. “SHERIFF” in reflective lettering shall be located on the back of the carrier.
  4. The outer carrier shall not be worn with the Class A uniform.

Rifle-Plate Body Armor

Rifle-Plate Body Armor shall be provided to all sworn personnel and are authorized for issue by the Homeland Security Bureau Commander.  This body armor is to be worn in conjunction with the deputy’s regular issued body armor, either inner or outer carrier, in any situation involving active shooters, and/or under threat of high-powered rifle fire.

  1. The body armor and carrier shall be carried with the deputy at all times during his or her assigned duty hours.
  2. Body armor shall not be left inside a vehicle for any extended period of time (i.e. trunk of patrol vehicle), as the material elements of the armored plate are susceptible to heat, rendering the equipment ineffective.
  3. The body armor shall be removed from the vehicle at the end of the deputy’s tour of duty.

HCSO Deputy Uniform Requirements

General Rules

The complete authorized official uniform as described in this section shall be worn in its entirety. No portion of the uniform may be worn with any other unauthorized clothing. Each deputy shall be issued and maintain at least one (1) Class A and B uniform for wear when assigned.

Class A Uniform

Long-sleeved shirt, tie, regular uniform pants, and issued felt hat.

Class B Uniform

Long-sleeved shirt with either open collar or turtleneck dickey, regular uniform pants, and issued felt or straw hat.

Short-sleeved shirt with open collar, regular uniform pants, and issued straw hat.

Class C Uniform

Long-sleeved shirt with either an open collar or turtleneck dickey, 5.11-brand tactical pants, and issued straw hat or ball cap.

Short-sleeved shirt with open collar, 5.11-brand tactical pants, and issued straw hat or ball cap.

A cloth name strip and a cloth badge shall be sewn onto each shirt.

“SHERIFF” in reflective lettering shall be located on the back of the shirt.

Class C uniform shirts with sewn-on cloth badges do not require the regulation-issued badge to be worn or carried.

Battle Dress Uniform (BDU-Style Field Uniform)
  • Short- or long-sleeved shirt with open collar and BDU-style issued pants.
  • BDU-style shirt or pants may not be worn with regular-issue class A, B, or C uniform pants or shirt.
  • BDU-style uniform shirts with embroidered or sewn-on cloth badges do not require the regulation-issued badge to be worn or carried.

Uniform Exceptions

Except as directed, uniformed personnel shall have the option of wearing Class C uniforms based on unpredictable daily temperatures, assignment, or personal preference. The hat worn shall be dictated by the uniform worn.

Dress Uniforms

When attending formal occasions, or at any other time as directed by a supervisor, the Class A dress uniform will be worn. The Class A dress uniform for sworn personnel consists of the official uniform with long-sleeved shirt, tie, and hat.

The Sheriff and command staff dress uniform consists of a white long-sleeved shirt, tie, uniform slacks or skirt, black belt, dress uniform jacket with gold-colored S.O. collar pins, name tag, badge, and hat.

Hat / Ball Cap

All sworn personnel may wear the issued felt hat, straw hat, or baseball style cap, dependent upon the uniform of the day.

A hat may only be worn with the authorized Class A, B, or C uniform and BDU-style field uniform. It shall not be worn with any other utility uniform or bicycle shorts.

Nothing shall be added or affixed to the hat.

The hat shall not be altered or reshaped in any form other than as authorized by the dress code.

During inclement weather conditions, the hat shall be covered with a clear rain cover.

Wearing the uniform hat is mandatory in the following situations:

  • Public functions
  • Formal occasions
  • Hats need not be worn under circumstances where the hat would jeopardize or substantially interfere with the performance of duties.

Baseball caps may be worn with the Class C or utility uniform only and are employee purchase. 

The approved ball cap must have an official mini (small) HCSO patch sewn on the front of the cap, and displayed so it is clearly visible, no exceptions.

Hats need not be worn in any circumstance where the ball cap would jeopardize or substantially interfere with the performance of duties.

Head scarves shall not be worn with the official uniform.

A wool or knit cap (employee purchase) may be worn by all uniformed employees during extreme cold weather conditions of 40 degrees and below.

Only an approved, solid black-colored cap shall be worn.

An official, small HCSO patch shall be sewn onto the front of the cap and visibly displayed.

Jacket

Only a regulation-issue jacket, an approved windbreaker (employee purchase), or a soft-shell jacket (employee purchase) may be worn with a full uniform. The windbreaker shall be designed and manufactured so that there are shoulder seams that allow for proper placement of the HCSO shoulder patches and any appropriate rank designations (i.e., no raglan, French style, or drop shoulder sleeves). Rank and HCSO patches for jackets and windbreakers will be the same as those for the regulation-issued long-sleeved shirt. A cloth badge shall be sewn onto the front left breast area. An approved windbreaker may have “SHERIFF” printed in white or gold on the back. Logos or emblems printed on the back or lettering printed on the sleeves will not be permitted.

Shirt

Buttons and S.O. pins shall be silver-colored for deputies and gold-colored for sergeants and above.

Dark blue or black crew neck or V-neck undershirts may be visibly worn with the HCSO uniform.

A white undershirt (V-neck style) may be worn, but shall not be visible.

NOTE: White crew neck undershirts shall not be worn at any time while in uniform.

Shirts will be worn with all buttons buttoned and all zippers zipped completely. When the shirt is worn without a tie, only the uppermost button will be left unbuttoned.

The cuffs of long-sleeved shirts will be buttoned and not rolled up.

There will be no specific winter or summer uniform shirt. The wearing of either the short- or long-sleeved shirt will be based on individual comfort except when a specific uniform is designated for a formal occasion or event.

Regulation-Issue Shirt

Class A Uniform: Long-sleeved shirt and tie

A single S.O. pin shall be worn on each side of the collar, 1.5 inches from the collar tip.

The lower edge of the S.O. pin shall be horizontal and parallel to the collar seam.

Pins and ribbons may be worn with the Class A uniform shirt only.

Employees may wear years of service stripes on the left sleeve of the Class A uniform shirt. The service stripes will be sewn to the lower front of the left sleeve. The stripes will be at a 45-degree angle with the lower edge of the sleeve, placed toward the outside of the sleeve, and be even with the sleeve’s inside crease. The lower corner of the bar (service stripe) will be one (1) inch above the upper seam of the sleeve cuff.

Each stripe will signify five (5) whole years employed as a commissioned and licensed Texas peace officer (for deputy) or employed and licensed as a Texas county jailer (for detention officer) as reported by TCOLE. Personnel may only wear stripes for accrued service time in their current position (either commissioned peace officer or county jailer).

Services stripes shall be gold for licensed peace officers (deputy) and red for detention officers.

Class B Uniform

A long-sleeved shirt with open collar or black turtleneck dickey may be worn. This turtleneck dickey will have the word “SHERIFF” embroidered on the front of the collar in gold-colored, three-quarter (0.75) inch block letters.

Short-sleeved shirt with open collar

A single S.O. pin shall be worn on each side of the collar, 1.5 inches from the collar tip.

The lower edge of the S.O. pin shall be horizontal and parallel to the collar seam.

Only the issued HCSO badge and name tag shall be worn with the Class B uniform.

Except for the years of service pin, no other pins and ribbons shall be worn with the Class B uniform shirt.

Class C Uniform

A long-sleeved shirt with open collar or black turtleneck dickey may be worn. This turtleneck dickey will have the word “SHERIFF” embroidered on the front of the collar in gold-colored, three-quarter (0.75) inch block letters.

Short-sleeved shirt with open collar

A cloth name strip and a cloth badge shall be sewn onto each shirt.

Class C uniform shirts with sewn-on cloth badges do not require the regulation-issued badge to be worn or carried.

With the exception of the mourning badge pin cover (employee purchase), pins and ribbons SHALL NOT be worn with the Class C uniform shirt.

BDU-Style Field Uniform

A long-sleeved shirt with open collar or black turtleneck dickey may be worn. This turtleneck dickey will have the word “SHERIFF” embroidered on the front of the collar in gold-colored, three-quarter (0.75) inch block letters.

Short-sleeved shirt with open collar

BDU-style uniform shirts with embroidered or sewn-on cloth badges do not require the regulation-issued badge to be worn or carried.

Badge

The official HCSO-issued badge shall be worn above the left breast pocket on Class A and B uniforms.

Name Tag

The HCSO-issued name tag shall be worn over the right breast pocket, one-eighth inch above the pocket or top edge of the pocket flap. The name tag is a mandatory item of the official Class A and B uniforms.

HCSO Patch

The regulation-issue patch shall be worn on both sleeves of each shirt, jacket, and approved windbreaker, centered one-half (0.5) inch under each epaulet.

Tie

Wearing the issued uniform tie with the long-sleeved shirt is optional except at designated formal occasions or anytime a supervisor requires the wearing of the Class A uniform.

Rank Insignia

The rank insignia shall be regulation-issue only. The Senior Deputy and Sergeant stripes shall be worn on both sleeves of each shirt, jacket, and approved windbreaker, centered one-half (0.5) inch under the HCSO patch. The rank insignia of lieutenants and above shall be worn on each shirt, jacket, and approved windbreaker, centered on the outward stitched section of each epaulet.

Trousers

Trousers shall be regulation-issue only. They shall not be altered in such a manner as to taper the leg tightly around the ankle or knee area (“leg pegging”). Any unauthorized or unnecessary alteration to county-issued uniforms will result in the employee purchasing each altered garment or uniform and / or disciplinary action.

Footwear

Shoes (employee purchase) shall be black-colored with plain round toes, without design or white stitching, and shall have low, walking heels. Shoe soles shall be black-colored. All shoes shall be highly polished.

Boots (employee purchase) may be worn. Boots shall be black-colored with plain round toes, without design or white stitching on top of the upper portion, and shall have low, walking heels. Laced boots may be worn provided each entire boot is black-colored with round toe. All boots shall be highly polished.

Socks

While in uniform, deputies shall wear plain black or navy blue socks with any shoe or low quarter boot. Any portion of the sock visible to the public must be plain black or navy blue-colored.

Belt

The uniform belt (employee purchase) shall be plain black leather with no belt buckle or with a plain buckle that shall not exceed the belt width. The belt shall not be visible when the Sam Browne or nylon duty belt is worn.

Duty Belts
Sam Browne Duty Belt

All Sam Browne belts shall be regulation-issue.

All Sam Browne belts shall have a weapon holster, at least two (2) speed loaders or magazine pouches, a handcuff pouch, and four (4) single keepers (to be worn with two in the front and two in the back).

High gloss handcuff cases shall be employee purchase.

Nylon Duty Belt

All nylon duty belts shall be regulation-issue.

All nylon duty belts shall have a weapon holster, at least two (2) speed loaders or magazine pouches, a handcuff pouch, and four (4) single keepers (to be worn with two in the front and two in the back).

Nylon handcuff cases shall be employee purchase.

Weapon Holster (employee purchase)

All personal weapon holsters shall have the original manufacture configuration and attach to the Sam Browne or nylon duty belt through a high-ride, mid-ride, or low-ride belt loop.

Deputies shall only carry holsters manufactured by Safariland which utilize the Automatic Locking System (ALS) retention, Self-Locking System (SLS) retention, or a combination of both retention systems.

Plain-clothes and off-duty deputies may utilize holsters other than manufactured by Safariland. 

Blackhawk Serpa or similar style holsters that utilize a retention device activated/de-activated with the trigger finger are strictly prohibited for use on or off-duty.   

No swivel holsters are allowed.

NOTE: Drop-down or tactical holsters shall only be worn by specialized units as authorized by the Sheriff or his or her designee for a specific duty assignment.

Speed Loaders (employee purchase)

Up to three (3) six-round loaders may be worn on the Sam Browne or nylon duty belt with a revolver. Holders for speed loaders must be of the same type and quality material as HCSO-issued leather or nylon gear.

Magazine Pouch (employee purchase)

One (1) magazine pouch shall be worn with a semi-automatic weapon. The magazine pouch may hold up to three (3) magazines for double-stacked weapons, and quad magazine holders may be worn for single-stacked weapons. Additional magazine pouches are not permitted on the belt.

Snaps

Hidden snaps attached to the trouser belt and the inside of the Sam Browne belt are allowed. Double-wide snaps are permitted but must be worn in the back only.

O-Ring (employee purchase)

O-rings may be worn specifically for retaining a flashlight or baton. No more than two (2) O-rings shall be worn at any time.

The “straight stick” baton must be carried in an oval metal ring attached to the duty belt by a strap fastener.

The expandable baton must be carried in a scabbard of a material and a configuration that is compatible with the presently-authorized Sam Browne or nylon duty belt when carried in uniform. If the expandable baton is being carried by a deputy not in uniform, it must be concealed from view.

Service Weapon (employee purchase)

All service weapons shall be subject to HCSO Department Policy #702 – Firearms Control, Qualifications, and Training.

All service weapons shall be fully loaded. Additionally, all cartridge loop holders, speed loaders, and magazines for semi-automatic weapons shall be fully loaded.

Ammunition

Duty ammunition shall be purchased by the employee.

Handcuffs

At least one (1) pair of handcuffs (employee purchase) shall be carried in the handcuff pouch. A maximum of two (2) handcuff pouches, either single or double pouch, open or closed flap, may be worn on the Sam Browne or nylon duty belt.

A handcuff key must be carried at all times and kept separately from the handcuffs.

Only black- or silver-colored handcuffs are permitted.

Flashlight (employee purchase)

A flashlight (black-colored only) may be carried on the Sam Browne or nylon duty belt. It shall be retained by an O-ring, and its maximum length shall not exceed five (5) D-cell or six (6) C-cell battery capacity. A mini flashlight may be worn on the Sam Browne or nylon duty belt in an appropriately-designed pouch (black-colored only).

TASER, Baton, Impact Restraining Devices, and Chemical Weapons

These weapons shall be carried only by authorized personnel as regulated by TCOLE and HCSO Department Policies #501- Use of Force, #502 – Less-Lethal Impact and Restraining Devices, #503 – Use of Conducted Electrical Weapons, and #504 – Use of Chemical Weapons, as appropriate.

Personnel Miscellaneous Requirements

Raincoats

Raincoats worn with the HCSO uniform shall be HCSO regulation-issue only. Black raincoat leggings may be worn with the county-issued raincoat. These leggings are optional and must be purchased at the employee’s expense.

Umbrellas

Umbrellas shall not be used with the uniform when conducting law enforcement operations or duty-related functions. A dark-colored umbrella with no markings may be used by uniformed personnel during inclement weather when going to and from a HCSO facility.

Purses, Wallets, and Backpacks

No purses or hand-carried wallets shall be carried or worn by personnel while in uniform. Items that need to be hand-carried may instead be carried in a plain briefcase of conservative style and color.

Backpacks are also authorized to be carried to and from an employee’s assigned duty area. The approved backpack shall be of a conservative style and black-colored. The backpack shall not be worn during the performance of the employee’s routine duties.

Special Uniforms and Equipment

Special uniforms and equipment will be addressed independently of the dress code (Academy, Honor Guard, etc.).

Reflective Vest

A lime green reflective safety vest with “SHERIFF” in black lettering shall be worn with the uniform (on or off duty) any time a deputy is directing traffic or involved in a traffic control function.

Uniform Accessories

All accessories worn by personnel assigned to the rank of deputy shall be silver or silver-colored. Accessories worn by personnel assigned to the rank of sergeant or above shall be gold or gold-colored. All such accessories shall be purchased by the employee unless regulation-issued.

Cellular Telephone

A cellular telephone may be worn with the HCSO uniform attached to the Sam Browne or nylon duty belt or the uniform waist belt if the Sam Browne or nylon duty belt is not worn in an office environment. The cellular telephone shall be black-colored or secured on the belt in a black-colored case.

Personnel authorized to wear certain clothing as may be required by their assigned duty (e.g., narcotics and vice personnel) shall wear appropriate civilian attire as directed by this policy when not on actual assignments (e.g., attending training classes at the Academy, etc.).

Uniform or civilian attire consisting of a shirt and pants is the required dress for attending HCSO Academy classes unless other specific dress is required for the curriculum. Shorts or sandals are prohibited for class attendance.

Personnel have an option to purchase additional clothing items and may request HCSO logos and patches to be placed on those items. Prior to purchase,any “employee purchase” items must have written approval provided by the Uniform Supply manager. See attached Uniform Employee Purchase Authorization Form.

Civilian Detention Officer Personnel Uniform Regulations

The detention officer uniform shall be worn only when on duty or when going to or from the employee’s duty assignment.

Hat

Only the approved uniform hat, if issued, will be worn by detention officer personnel.

Baseball-style caps shall not be worn with the issued uniform.

Head scarves shall not be worn with the issued uniform.

A wool or knit cap (employee purchase) may be worn by all uniformed employees during extreme cold weather conditions of 40 degrees and below.

Only an approved, solid black-colored cap shall be worn.

An official, small HCSO patch shall be sewn onto the front of the cap and visibly displayed.

Jacket (hooded)

A regulation-issued jacket (hooded), an approved windbreaker (employee purchase), or a soft-shell jacket (employee purchase) shall be worn only with a full uniform. The windbreaker shall be designed and manufactured so that there are shoulder seams that allow for proper placement of the HCSO shoulder patches and any appropriate rank designations (i.e., no raglan, French style, or drop shoulder sleeves). HCSO patches for jackets and windbreakers will be the same as those for regulation-issued long-sleeved shirt.

Shirt

Upon availability, either a regulation white or blue short – sleeved shirt shall be issued for wear.

Only white crew neck or V-neck undershirts shall be visibly worn with the regulation white shirt.

Dark blue or black crew neck or V-neck undershirts shall be visibly worn with the regulation blue shirt.

A white undershirt (V-neck style) may be worn with the regulation blue shirt, but shall not be visible.

Rank Insignia

The rank insignia shall be regulation-issue only. The stripes signifying the rank of detention sergeant shall be worn on both sleeves of each shirt, jacket, and approved windbreaker, centered one-half (0.5) inch under the HCSO patch. The rank insignia of detention lieutenants shall be worn on each shirt, jacket, and approved windbreaker, centered on the outward stitched section of each epaulet.

Trousers

Trousers shall be regulation-issue only. They shall not be altered in such a manner as to taper the leg tightly around the ankle or knee area (“leg pegging”). Any unauthorized or unnecessary alteration to county-issued uniforms will result in the employee purchasing each altered garment or uniform and / or disciplinary action.

Badge

The official HCSO-issued badge shall be worn above the left breast pocket.

Name Tag

The HCSO-issued name tag shall be worn over the right breast pocket, one-eighth inch above the pocket or top edge of the pocket flap. The name tag is a mandatory item of the official uniform.

HCSO Patch

The regulation-issue patch shall be worn on both sleeves of each shirt, jacket, and approved windbreaker, centered one-half (0.5) inch under each epaulet.

S.O. Pins

A single S.O. pin shall be worn on each side of the collar, 1.5 inches from the collar tip. The lower edge of the S.O. pin shall be horizontal and parallel to the collar seam.

Footwear

Shoes (employee purchase) shall be black-colored with plain round toes, without design or white stitching, and shall have low, walking heels. Shoe soles shall be black-colored. All shoes shall be highly polished.

Boots (employee purchase) may be worn. Boots shall be black-colored with plain round toes, without design or white stitching on top of the upper portion, and shall have low, walking heels. Laced boots may be worn provided each entire boot is black-colored with round toe. All boots shall be highly polished.

Socks

Plain black or navy blue socks (employee purchase) shall be worn with any shoe or low quarter boot while in uniform.

Belt

Authorized belts (employee purchase)

Leather

The belt shall be plain black leather with no buckle or with a plain belt buckle that shall not exceed the belt width.

Bianchi Accumold web belt with four (4) black web belt keepers. (This is an optional addition)

Belt attachments (employee purchase) can either be web material or solid black leather (no basket weave). Authorized belt attachments include:

  1. Handcuff case,
  2. Flash light case,
  3. Glove pouch and
  4. Other attachments as required.

NOTE: The employee shall remove this belt with all attachments when leaving work and securely place in his or her vehicle.

Purses and Wallets

No purses or hand-carried wallets shall be carried by personnel while in uniform. Items that need to be hand-carried shall be carried in a plain briefcase of conservative style and color or in a black-colored backpack of conservative style.

Communications Officer, Record Specialist and Clerk Personnel Uniform Regulations

Communications Officer, Record Specialist and clerical personnel not issued (See Section XI. Plain Clothes of this policy) the following uniform items, or otherwise under circumstances approved by a supervisor shall wear appropriate office attire and shall maintain appropriate professionalism, decorum, and appearance. Specific dress standards should reflect prevailing social standards. Extreme styles, colors, fabrics, etc., are not acceptable.

Shirts

The regulation-issued polo-style shirt with appropriate divisional embroidery shall be tucked into the pants.

Pants

The uniform pants will be regulation-issued.

Winter Jacket

If authorized, the winter jacket will be regulation-issued with appropriate divisional patches. No HCSO patches or lettering are authorized.

Footwear

All footwear (employee purchase) shall be black-colored with plain round toes, without design or white stitching, and shall have low, walking heels. Shoe soles shall be black-colored. The shoe tops shall be clean and polished and have a full back. 

Footwear Not Authorized; tennis shoes not fitting the requirements described in this paragraph, moccasins, slippers or sandals.

Socks (employee purchase)

While in uniform, any portion of the socks visible to the public must be plain black or navy blue-colored.

Hosiery

Employees who choose to wear skirts will be required to wear skin-tone hosiery.

Belt (employee purchase)

Only a plain black leather pants belt with no buckle, or with a plain buckle that does not exceed the belt width, shall be worn while in uniform.

Embroidered Divisional Patch

A regulation-issue blue and gold patch shall be centered above the left breast pocket on the regulation uniform shirt and in a similar place on the winter jacket.

Hat

A wool or knit cap (employee purchase) may be worn by all uniformed employees during extreme cold weather conditions of 40 degrees and below.

Only an approved, solid black-colored cap shall be worn.

An official, small HCSO patch shall be sewn onto the front of the cap and visibly displayed.

Purses

Purses may be carried by female personnel. Purses should be conservative and not gaudy or excessive in style and color.

Specialty Uniforms

Specialty uniforms shall only be authorized for the below listed units. All other personnel shall wear the regulation Class A, B, or BDU-style field uniform as authorized.

Mental Health Unit, Bomb Unit, SWAT, Vehicular Crimes Division, CSU

Uniformed deputies assigned to these units shall conform to all provisions of the dress code policy, subject only to the following exceptions for assigned field operations:

  1. Approved BDU-style field uniform
  2. A HCSO – approved baseball-style cap may be worn in conjunction with the utility uniform while performing on-duty activities.

Marine Operations

Uniformed deputies assigned to a marine unit shall conform to all provisions of the dress code policy, subject only to the following exceptions for assigned field operations:

  1. Approved BDU-style field uniform
  2. A HCSO-approved baseball-style cap may be worn in conjunction with the utility uniform while performing marine-related duties.

Bicycle Patrol/Outdoor Work Programs

Uniformed deputies assigned to certain units whose duties require them to be outside in the heat and direct sun all day may receive authorization to wear the HCSO approved bicycle uniform pants or bicycle shorts with the regulation shirt or BDU – style shirt.

These units include:

  1. Bicycle Patrol,
  2. Graffiti Abatement,
  3. Inmate Community Work Program (ICWP), and
  4. Sheriff’s Weekend Work Program (SWEWP).

Uniformed deputies assigned to certain units shall conform to all provisions of the dress code policy, subject only to the following exceptions for assigned field operations:

  1. Approved bicycle uniform pants or bicycle shorts with regulation shirt or BDU-style shirt
  2. A bicycle helmet shall be worn in conjunction with the bicycle uniform while performing bicycle patrol duties.
  3. A HCSO – approved baseball-style cap may be worn in conjunction with the bicycle shorts.

NOTE: Bicycle Units are not authorized to wear the baseball cap.

The regulation-issue straw or felt hat may not be worn with shorts.

Air Support Unit

Uniformed deputies assigned to the Air Support Unit shall conform to all provisions of the dress code policy, subject only to the following exceptions for assigned field operations:

  1. Approved Nomex® flight suit or optional polo-style flight shirt with BDU-style pants.
  2. A HCSO-approved baseball-style cap may be worn in conjunction with the utility uniform while performing aviation duties.

Motorcycle

Uniformed deputies assigned to operate a motorcycle shall conform to all provisions of the dress code policy, subject only to the following exceptions for assigned field operations:

Helmet

The helmet will be regulation-issue with an approved “SHERIFF” decal on both sides.

Regulation Motorcycle Jacket

A regulation-issued motorcycle jacket or optional HCSO windbreaker (employee purchase) is allowed to be worn only with a full uniform. The windbreaker shall be designed and manufactured so that there are shoulder seams that allow for proper placement of the HCSO shoulder patches and any appropriate rank designations (i.e., no raglan, French style, or drop shoulder sleeves).

Trousers

The motorcycle riding trousers will be regulation-issued.

Boots

The motorcycle boots will be regulation-issued and shall be kept highly polished.

Maternity Uniform

Uniformed personnel wearing the maternity uniform shall conform to all provisions of the dress code policy, subject only to the following provisions:

Issued Maternity Uniform

Maternity uniforms will be issued only to female personnel whose regular assignment is uniformed.

  1. The regulation-issued shirt will be tailored for maternity wear.
  2. The regulation-issued pants will be tailored for maternity wear.
  3. Three (3) maternity uniforms will be issued to female uniformed personnel when the change to maternity uniforms is necessary.

Footwear

Shoes (employee purchase) shall be black-colored. Heels shall be flat or no higher than 1.5 inches. Acceptable shoes shall be low quarter boots or low quarter athletic or nursing shoes.

Plain black or navy blue socks (employee purchase) shall be worn with any shoe or low quarter boot while in uniform.

Badge

The official HCSO-issued badge shall be worn on the upper left side of the maternity uniform shirt over the left breast pocket.

Rank Insignia

The rank insignia shall be regulation-issue only. Sergeant stripes shall be worn on both sleeves of each shirt, jacket, and approved windbreaker, centered one-half (0.5) inch under the HCSO patch. Insignia for lieutenants and above shall be worn on each shirt, jacket, and approved windbreaker, centered on the outward stitched section of each epaulet.

Name Tag

The regulation-issued name tag shall be worn on the upper right side of the maternity uniform shirt over the right breast pocket.

Identification Card

Non-sworn personnel shall display their identification card on the upper left side of the maternity uniform.

The Sam Browne or nylon duty belt shall not be worn with the maternity uniform.

Regulations for Carrying a Weapon with the Maternity Uniform:

  1. The weapon with which the deputy has qualified shall be carried in a black leather, or simulated leather material, purse or appropriate-style bag.
  2. An appropriate gun bag or pouch may be carried but shall not be attached to any belt.
  3. A HCSO-approved, black-colored shoulder holster (employee purchase) may be worn.

Extra Employment

Extra employment shall not be permitted while wearing the maternity uniform.

Procedures for Returning Maternity Uniforms

Before the employee leaves for delivery, the maternity uniforms shall be professionally dry-cleaned before being returned to Uniform Supply.

If the pregnancy ends before the due date, the maternity uniforms shall be professionally dry-cleaned and returned to Uniform Supply within ten (10) working days after the end of the pregnancy to be available for the use of other pregnant, uniformed employees.

Plain Clothes

Male Personnel Required to be in Plain Clothes

Male personnel are expected to wear suits or dress slacks with a coordinated sport coat or suit jacket, shirt, and tie when assigned to:

  1. Court appearances,
  2. Speeches,
  3. Funerals,
  4. Media interviews, or
  5. As otherwise directed by a supervisor.

Personnel involved in normal field or office operations shall maintain appropriate professionalism, decorum, and appearance. Specific dress standards should reflect prevailing social standards. Extreme styles, colors, fabrics, etc., are not acceptable.

The following items are specifically prohibited:

  1. High-heeled platform shoes;
  2. Extreme or ornate tie tacks;
  3. Athletic shoes, flip-flops, or slippers;
  4. Pullover shirts and shirts with no collars; and
  5. Jeans or shorts.

Male personnel involved in normal field or office operations may wear dress shirts with open collars and dress pants with no coat provided that an appropriate coordinated sport coat or suit jacket and tie is immediately accessible. Shirts shall be tucked into pants.

An employee authorized to wear certain clothing or jewelry as may be required by his assigned duties (e.g., narcotics or vice personnel) shall wear appropriate civilian attire as directed by this section when not on actual assignments (e.g., attending training classes at the Academy, etc.).

Footwear

The color and type of footwear should be coordinated with the style of dress being worn.

Earrings or body-piercing jewelry that is exposed to public view may not be worn.

Head covers that are required for religious purposes are allowed.

Female Personnel Required to be in Plain Clothes

Female personnel involved in normal field or office operations are expected to wear dresses, suits, sports jackets with skirts and / or slacks, or coordinated blouses with skirts and / or slacks when assigned to:

  1. Court appearances,
  2. Speeches,
  3. Funerals,
  4. Media interviews, or
  5. As otherwise directed by a supervisor.

Personnel involved in normal field or office operations shall maintain appropriate professionalism, decorum, and appearance. Specific dress standards should reflect prevailing social standards. Extreme styles, colors, fabrics, etc., are not acceptable.

The following items are specifically prohibited:

  1. Skirts shorter than one inch above the knees;
  2. Miniskirts, sundresses, or spaghetti strap dresses;
  3. Athletic shoes, flip-flops, or slippers;
  4. Pullover shirts and shirts with no collars;
  5. Jeans or shorts;
  6. Capri pants; and
  7. Leggings or spandex.

An employee authorized to wear certain clothing or jewelry as may be required by her assigned duties (e.g., narcotics or vice personnel) shall wear appropriate civilian attire as directed by this section when not on actual assignments (e.g., attending training classes at the Academy, etc.).

The color and type of footwear should be coordinated with the style of dress being worn. 

With exception of a single stud earring in each earlobe, body-piercing jewelry that is exposed to public view may not be worn.

Head covers that are required for religious purposes are allowed.

Exclusions and Exceptions to the Dress Code

The dress code applies to all HCSO employees. The HCSO does not discriminate against any employee because of that person’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual or gender orientation, national origin, age, disability, handicap, or veteran status. Accordingly, the HCSO is committed to accommodating an employee in regard to a dress code issue where the employee proves a unique need due to a medical condition or a firmly-established religious belief and such condition or belief does not otherwise prevent the employee from fulfilling all of his or her normal assigned job duties. [CALEA Standard 31.2.3]

An employee who believes that, for religious or medical reasons, he or she should be allowed to deviate from the dress code policy may request an accommodation from the Sheriff or his or her designee.

The request shall include the employee’s:

  1. Name,
  2. Present assignment,
  3. Immediate supervisor’s name,
  4. Bureau commander’s name, and
  5. Reason for requesting the accommodation.

All accommodation requests shall be specific in detail and shall be submitted individually (see the attached sample request form).

The employee may request as many accommodations as may be required by his or her religion or medical condition.

The Sheriff or his or her designee shall review each request on a case-by-case basis.

All circumstances surrounding the request shall be investigated in order to determine whether the accommodation shall be granted or denied.

Any and all potential safety issues and / or operational concerns the requested accommodation would have on the employee, the HCSO, other employees, inmates, and the public shall be taken into account.

If an accommodation that refers to the wearing of an article of faith is approved, the cost associated with the procuring of and maintaining of the article of faith shall be borne by the employee.

Any approved accommodation shall be noted in writing and specifically describe the accommodation being made by the HCSO. The written approval shall be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

If an employee is not satisfied with the ruling of the Sheriff or his or her designee, the employee may request a hearing with the Sheriff to present his or her reasons for the request for the accommodation and / or the objections to the specific nature of the approval or denial.

A denial of a request for accommodation shall state the reasons for such denial.

In the event that an accommodation becomes a health or safety issue for any employee, inmate, or the public, the Sheriff reserves the right to cancel a previously approved accommodation.

NOTE: An employee may appeal the cancellation of an accommodation as he or she would the denial of an accommodation.

Personnel assigned to a covert operations assignment, or those assigned to duties that require uniform modification for specific duties not addressed in this policy, may be excluded from compliance with specific portions of the policy.

Sworn and non-sworn employees assigned to office functions that do not involve actual law enforcement operations or duties may wear an optional shirt (employee purchase) embroidered with the HCSO star. Authorized shirts may be purchased through the Honor Guard and include button-down, open collar, long-sleeved shirts and short-sleeved polo-style shirts.

The optional shirt must be worn with dress or khaki-style pants. This optional wear, including the garment color will be at the discretion of the bureau commander and must be authorized for a particular assignment.

Revision

This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:

April 21, 2009May 1, 2012October 16, 2015August 16, 2018
April 5, 2010June 25, 2012May 25, 2016September 17, 2018
December 16, 2010July 26, 2012August 9, 2016November 28, 2018
February 7, 2011April 9, 2014October 7, 2016February 15, 2019
May 26, 2011December 12, 2014December 1, 2017May 21, 2019
June 15, 2011March 25, 2015July 2, 2018December 3, 2020

Employee Purchase Authorization & Request for Accommodation Forms

This attachment includes several forms, including the Employee Purchase Authorization, and the Request for Accommodation Form.

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