latimes.com
L.A. County Sheriff’s Department switches from silver to gold belt buckles at a cost of $300,000
By Maya Lau

Sheriff’s officials are spending $300,000 on items they say would make deputies look more professional in their jobs and could help make them safer.

But the taxpayer dollars won’t go toward tools such as higher-quality ballistic vests, backup guns or body cameras, all of which are optional items that deputies have to pay for on their own.

Instead, Sheriff Jim McDonnell is spending the money on a minor cosmetic makeover of deputies’ uniforms: changing the color of their belt buckles and other metal pieces of gear from silver to gold. 

The agency is facing a chronic staff shortage and a recurring budget deficit.