New Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers has promised all kinds of changes for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department – but one of those changes will be very visible right away: the new uniform policy.

Sherriff’s Department Chief Deputy Edwin Melvin said this week that, in the past, employees of the department have worn all sorts of attire depending on the type of work they do, but now citizens will see officers in almost all jobs wearing the traditional Sheriff’s Department uniform.

“We have to make the uniforms more uniform,” Melvin said. “Right now, depending on what they do, some are wearing uniforms, some are wearing jeans, some are wearing suits.”

When asked if undercover officers would be required to wear uniforms, Melvin laughed and said they would not.  He added that there would be a few other exceptions – such as those who work in the legal department – but otherwise, he said, citizens will see uniforms on almost all officers and will notice another highly visible change as well: hats worn consistently as part of the uniform.

“We’re big on hats,” he said.  The hat is part of the uniform, so you’ll see more officers wearing them.”

According to Melvin, officers are now going to be much more interactive with the public than they have been in the past and he said those officers should look the part when they do.  He said part of creating the desired image is having officers wearing a hat.

Melvin said the officers’ appearance will be more important than ever because they will be interacting with the public more than before.

“We should not just be in the patrol cars riding by,” the new chief deputy said. “We have to get out and engage with the citizens.  We just had a commanders’ meeting where we talked about the need to have more interaction with the community.”

According to Melvin, the new uniform policy is just one of many new policies that will be enforced by the department.  He said, for instance, department employees will now have to sign-in or check-in when at work and sign-out or check-out when they go off duty.  He said that hasn’t always been the case in the past and therefore the employees weren’t always accountable as to the hours actually spent working.

Melvin added that Rogers was implementing a new physical fitness program for the department employees and he said Rogers will follow the program just like everyone else.

“He’s not going to ask them to do anything he won’t do himself,” Melvin said.