Canton's new police chief says he hopes new uniforms for his officers will help boost morale in the department. It is the first uniform change in 25 years.
"If you change the appearance of the officer, hopefully that transcends into a better satisfied officer," said Chief Bob Merchant, who took over the department in May. "A better satisfied officer will be a more productive employee in the long run."
May took over after the former chief resigned. An investigation criticized Jeff Lance and the department for botching the Jorelys Rivera case. A report said police showed no sense of urgency finding the missing 7-year-old and failed to call in other police agencies to help.
"It's always unfortunate for that sort of tragedy to occur and we were deeply saddened by it," said city manager Scott Wood. "But we do think we've turned a corner."
Officers said they like the look of the new uniform and that it will help morale.
"I think it's positive," said Sgt. Jeff Tucker. "It's going in the other direction now. I think everybody's getting on board with the chief and we're working towards producing a better police department here."
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