COLUMBIA -- Security officers at Columbia College have spruced up their look to fit in better with the timbered campus's landscape.
Surrounded by the majestic foothill trees, lakes and mountains, most of the college's employees pride themselves on conforming with the natural setting.
Columbia College security officers upgraded their uniforms this semester after 40 years without a new look. The updated garb mixes green and black clothing.
"We looked at it as an opportunity to provide our security officers with a uniform that was distinctive," said Connie Mical, head business official at Columbia. " ... We wanted them to look professional and fit in with the environment at Columbia. The natural environment of the campus is a jewel. It's 280 forested acres."
Officers easily identifiable
The uniforms cost about $2,500; the college provides two uniforms per officer, Mical said. The everyday wear is a long- or short-sleeved green polo shirt, black fleece vest, green Battle Dress Uniform cargo pants and black boots. Formal uniforms consist of a black wool long-sleeve shirt, green BDU pants and black boots. BDU cargo shorts can be used during warm weather.
Greg Elam, head of Columbia's security force, said the officers wanted to be easily identifiable.
"It looks sharp. No one else is sporting this anywhere around," said Elam, a retired Tuolumne County sheriff's deputy who's been with Columbia's security for 11 years.
Officers settled on green after looking at what neighboring agencies used, dark blue and tan were taken. Elam said they didn't want to be confused with sworn peace officers.
Six full-time and two part-time officers patrol the two-year community college which enrolls about 3,500 students.
Bee staff writer Michelle Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2339.