Some Thurston County deputies may wear black cowboy hats while on duty

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office is finalizing a policy that will allow deputies to wear black cowboy hats while on duty.

Wearing the hat is not required, and deputies who choose to wear one must purchase it themselves.

“We think Deputy Kohlman looks mighty rustic with his new head gear. Yee-haw!” a post on the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page showing a deputy with a hat said.

In a comment replying to the Tuesday afternoon post, Thurston County Sheriff Derek Sanders said that “‘Good ole boy’ culture is a verb, not a hat” and “We are VERY busy addressing the ‘real issues’ but sometimes we have to consider simple policy changes that might put a smile on some faces here and there. Don’t forget to smile.”

As of 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, the post had been shared 133 times and had 629 comments.

Some of those comments ranged from “Keep the cowboy culture alive” and “I’m digging it,” to “The good guys wore white, the bad guys wore black” and “What’s next, (a) 12-month calendar with all the deputies dressed like the Village People?”

Other commenters expressed indifference.

“I personally don’t care if they want to wear Viking helmets or party hats. Protect and serve. That’s what I do care about. Much respect to our men and women in blue. We love you.”