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New looks for BCSO - uniforms & Caddie

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Beginning Friday, May 24, some changes occurred at the Bandera County Sheriff's Office. Gone are the traditional gray shirts and black pants adopted during the administration of ex-Sheriff Weldon Tucker. Deputies are sporting a new look.
Also, Bandera County Commissioners recently accepted a Cadillac Escalade that had been acquired by the law enforcement department as the result of a drug seizure. "Just make sure the public understands that this vehicle wasn't purchased with taxpayers' money," Judge Richard Evans told Sheriff Daniel "Dan" Butts. Now, fully decaled and exhibiting a proper disclaimer, the Caddie is on the road.

The department's new uniform includes a silver tan shirt with dark brown pants. "This look will hopefully present a current, fresh and professional image to the public while at the same time boosting morale within the ranks of the sheriff's office," Butts said. He noted that the new uniforms will also maintain the traditional look often associated with a sheriff's office.
According to Butts, research has indicated that the tan and brown uniform combination has a subconscious psychological influence on a person's preconceived feelings about law enforcement officers.

In keeping with one of the core values of the Bandera County Sheriff's Office - increased professionalism - the new uniforms are designed to enhance the authority and appearance of BCSO deputies.

"This will also make it easier for our citizens to differentiate between highway patrol troopers, city marshals and sheriff's deputies," Butts added.
Additionally, taxpayers who have noticed Butts tooling around in a 2007 beige Cadillac Escalade should not fear that the next Courier headline will shout in 72 point type, "BCSO - Escalade escapade?" According to Lt. Danny Bowermaster, the upscale vehicle was signed over to the department in March, after being seized in a drug bust.

Assisted by Deputy Robert Vela, former Deputy AJ Griffin stopped the vehicle in July 2012 in the Pipe Creek area for failing to use a turn signal. After observing a knife in plain view on the passenger's seat, Griffin asked the driver to exit the vehicle. During a pat down initiated for officer safety, the deputy discovered a glass pipe and a baggie, which later tested positive for methamphetamine. The driver was arrested.

A later search of the Escalade turned up other drug paraphernalia and marijuana residue. In addition, compounding the man's legal woes, more methamphetamine, as well as cocaine, was discovered when the suspect was searched at the Bandera County Jail.

"We seized the vehicle under Chapter 59 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure," Bowermaster said in an interview on Friday, May 31. "On Feb. 11, 2013, the department received forfeiture notice out of the 216th District Court."

In a bit of irony, a second vehicle, a 2001 Ford Expedition, owned by the suspect had been seized during an earlier traffic stop by deputies in May 2012. Although the first vehicle was returned to the man, he doesn't have it in his possession now.

According to Bowermaster, the Expedition has been impounded in Boerne - presumably as the result of a similar charge.

Meanwhile in its new evolution, the Cadillac Escalade - suitably accoutered and decaled - now "protects and serves" the citizens of Bandera County.

Pictured: Photo by Judith Pannebaker
Under the watchful eyes of Sheriff Daniel "Dan" Butts, Sgt. Joey Hernandez and Deputy Matt Krueger showed off their new uniforms, which were adopted Friday, May 24.

Courtesy photo
Pictured in the new Bandera County Sheriff's Office tan and brown uniforms are, from left, Deputy Luis Moreno and Deputy Matt Krueger.

Photo by Judith Pannebaker
Make no mistake, as the disclaimer states, the BCSO's new-to-them Cadillac Escalade was "provided at no expense to the taxpayers." Instead, the impressive vehicle was the result of a fortuitous drug bust.