By Daniel Silliman
The police chief walked slowly, ceremoniously, down the two lines of officers standing at attention, stopping in front of each of the 11 to inspect the new uniforms. Here, he adjusted the brim of a hat, there, the slant of a belt.
Standing in front of the guard, Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner said, "You look great. Fantastic. We have a very professional Honor Guard, and I wanted a uniform that reflected that."
Still at attention, none of the members of the guard cracked a smile. Lt. Brian Danekes, commander of the guard, told them to stand, "at ease," and the 11 shifted, placing their hands behind their backs.
Danekes said the new uniforms took about a year to custom design for the department.
"We revamped the entire uniform, from the badges, to the hats, to the high collar," he said, "just because it looks more professional. I think that says a lot about our department."
Since becoming chief, in March, Turner has altered the command staff's uniforms, so that the upper-level officers wear white shirts -- and the rank-and-file's uniforms, so that the color scheme changed from blue-on-blue to gray-on-blue.
Turner has said the uniform changes are meant to keep the department up-to-date with current ideas about what a professional department looks like, and also to signal to the public that the department has entered a new era, under his leadership.