Replacing the state seal comes with hefty price tag for Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office

Replacing the state flag and seal

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(KSTP) – After the new flag design has been finalized, some local agencies are in the planning stage of evaluating the cost of changing the state seal.

The Hennepin County Sheriff explained for her office alone, the change will be an expensive one.

“It’s everywhere. It’s our patches, it’s our badges,” Sheriff Dawanna Witt, Hennepin County, said.

From the uniforms to the vehicles down to the letterheads, there’s a state seal around every corner in the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.

But soon the patches will look different now that a new state seal has been chosen.

“We’re talking about redesigning our patches. We are talking about our vehicles and the emblems on our vehicle. How do we get those off and still make it look professional?” Witt said.

Witt said the price tag to replace everything will cost at least $500,000.

“We’re starting to talk about how we are going to pay for this and we’re figuring out, but it’s going to be a process,” Witt said.

She said the 2024 budget is already set in stone so the next task is to figure out where to get the money from to make the changes.

The state statute says state agencies and departments using the seal should make every effort to update it by Jan. 1, 2025.

“The government is saying you’ve got to do your best to adopt this. After May, when it becomes official, we’re going to give you to the end of the year to get the job done,” Larry Jacobs, U of M political expert, said.

Jacobs explained the state seal is more than just an image — it makes documents official.

He said making the switch will be a costly one for the entire state.

“It’s unclear how much it’s going to cost and you can search far and wide to get an estimate from a state government and no one seems to have it,” Jacobs said.

Witt said getting ahead of it is the best thing she can do.

“We have a job to do here. So we’ve got to make sure that these type of decisions, when it comes to dealing with designs, don’t take us away from the real work that needs to be done,” Witt said.

Witt added she believes the state should help pick up the tab for the cost.