On November 11, 1969, Riverside County Sheriff Ben Clark initiated a year-long experiment which required deputies from the Blythe station to wear blazers with the Riverside Sheriff's crest patch. This experiment was to find out whether or not the public preferred dealing with officers in a uniform or in a more casual dress code.
Due to the new uniform change for the Blythe deputies, they were required to carry a clipboard with a decal of the badge on it so they could flash if a citizen refused to recognize they were a deputy.
The project lasted from November 1969 to April 1970, when then Lt. Cois Byrd recommended that the experiment be ended.
In the past, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department was not up to par in keeping records prior to 1930. As a result, volunteers such as Don Williams and others have to rely on newspaper research and other publications around the turn of the century to find out what was really going on. The department at least kept old department memorandums.
The RSO museum is always hunting for lost items. There were a few deputies in the 1990's who took it upon themselves to preserve the department's history by taking and relocating historical items into their personal collections. The museum is trying to get them back and have also purchased lots of old badges that were once lost.
Blazer photo and information courtesy of the Riverside County Sheriff's Museum and Don Williams. Patch scan courtesy of Willspatches.net.