History and Employee Morale Collide for New Connecticut Court Marshal Uniforms

For the first time in 30 years, Connecticut’s judicial marshals have new uniforms.

The change, which affects the 764 men and women who help maintain order in Connecticut courthouses, comes after a restructure of rank for Judicial Branch supervisors, also.

The new uniforms consist of heather gray shirts and black pants with gold and blue piping. The previous uniforms had sky blue shirts and navy blue pants.

Also involved in the upgrade were the arm patches, badges, flag pins and name tags that the marshals wear. The name tags will now indicate the length of the marshals’ service to the court system.

Because of the changes to rank structure, marshals will wear different insignia on their uniforms. Lead marshals have been designated as sergeants and have chevrons on their collar pins; supervising marshals are now lieutenants, who will have bars on their pins.

It took two years for the uniforms to be redesigned, which coincided with the end of the current contract with Cintas Uniforms. However, Connecticut now has a new contract with Cintas that saves the state $28,000 a year on the cost of rental uniforms.

The rental uniforms for each courtroom marshal consist of four pairs of pants, four short-sleeve shirts and four long sleeve shirts. The total cost to the state is estimated at $160,680 per year.

The state also ordered new badges, shoulder patches and ties for the marshals, totaling a cost of $77,277. Although these items are ordered routinely, some had not been purchased since 2000.

Other accessories, costing $10,321 included rank pins, chevrons, silver and gold star patches and has marks. Flag pins now replace the flag patches that were once worn by the marshals, for the price of $3,200 for the state.

O’Donovan Murphy, director of marshal services, says that the change has been appreciated by the marshals.

Chief marshal in the New Haven District Louis Speringo served as chairman of a committee that worked toward designing the new uniforms and improving the morale among the marshals. He explained that the marshals would “see police departments come through, and they have nice uniforms, and [the marshals would] say ‘I wish we had this and that.'”

The aim of the committee was to design uniforms that looked dressier for the court and would help bring together the State Police and marshals in Connecticut.

The new uniforms are popular with the marshals because they help instill more pride in the workers, say officials. They note that these uniforms look closer to those of other law enforcement officers in the state.

The committee also did some digging into the history of marshal and sheriff institutions in Connecticut. Both date back to 1639, which is a date now included on the marshals’ arm patches.

In the 1720s the sheriff service took over the courtroom order, but this changed in 2000 when the state’s General Assembly redesignated them as marshals once again and made them a part of the Connecticut Judicial Branch.

Employees debuted the new uniforms on August 1, 2014.

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