Sparta police lighten up

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:13

    SPARTA-For years, Sparta Township Police officers were recognized by the navy blue shirt uniform shirts they wore. On May 15, however, the department underwent a facelift by switching their shirts to a lighter "French blue" color. Both the summer and winter uniforms are now the lighter color. In addition, the officers got new Class A uniforms, which are designated solely for special events such as funerals, award ceremonies and parades. According to Township Manager Henry Underhill, the change was done at a minimal cost to the township. Sparta reimbursed officers for the fees associated with replacing everyday long- and short-sleeved shirt uniforms. However, the officers paid for the Class A dress uniforms themselves. Complete with the new colors, Class A dress is comprised of fancy shirts, hats, belts, and leather that is not designed to be worn on a daily basis. "It wasn't a cheap venture," said Police Chief Ernest Reigstad. "The fact that they were willing to spend their own money shows the amount of pride that the officers have in (this) department." Although the department received donations from anonymous private contributors, the rest of the tab for the dress uniforms was paid by the officers. Last week at the Sparta Memorial Day Parade, the members of the department showed off their newest Class A duds to the hundreds of spectators who attended the celebration. Prior to this change, the officers would wear their winter work uniforms at special occasions. The French blue uniforms are the latest of a string of uniforms in a shade of blue worn by the members of the Sparta Police Department. Prior to this change, the department sported navy blue and before that, a bright light blue.