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Deputy quits after new Wyoming sheriff bans cowboy hats: ‘I am not going to change’

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There’s a new sheriff in town — and his deputies had better watch out.

That’s because Stephen Haskell, who took over as sheriff of Sublette County in Wyoming last month, has banned cowboy hats and boots, leading one veteran law enforcement officer to quit.

“We have enough problems walking around in the snow and ice with our Vibram treads I’d hate to see us try and walk in slippery cowboy boots,” Haskell wrote on his department’s Facebook page.

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As for cowboy hats, 10-gallon or otherwise, he continued: “Have you ever stood on the side of the highway on a blustery Wyoming day and tried to keep a cowboy hat on your noggin?

“I’d rather my deputies were concerned with their safety and the safety of the public than trying to chase down a fly-away cowboy hat,” he wrote.

Deputy Gene Bryson, who has worked for the sheriff’s department for decades, retired last week — and said the cowboy attire order was behind his decision to hang up his spurs.

“That’s kind of the reason why I retired,” 70-year-old Bryson told the Casper Star Tribune newspaper.

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“I am not going to change. I’ve been here for 40-odd years in the Sheriff’s Office, and I’m not going to go out and buy combat boots and throw my vest and hat away and say, ‘This is the new me,'” he added.

The new sheriff saluted Casper’s years of service.

Sublette County covers eight communities including Pinedale, which was recently named by True West magazine as one of its top 10 Western towns.

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