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Sheriff's offices debate necessity of pants amid record heatwave

Ballistics vests may not be optional, but until things cool down, a local sheriff's office has a pretty interesting suggestion to help deputies cool down.

OCONEE COUNTY, Ga. — Two Georgia sheriff's offices are having an interesting debate over whether pants are uniform requirements during Georgia's constantly record-breaking heat.

In a post that's gotten plenty of fanfare from the department's massive following, the Oconee County Sheriff's Office put forth that while ballistics vests are required, pants are now optional "until we get a daytime high temperature below 80 degrees."

It's a suggestion that brings about many questions - most of which really shouldn't be answered. But a neighboring sheriff's office has decided to raise the bar - and keep its pants on.

The Oglethorpe County Sheriff's Office didn't call out Oconee directly - though referring to an "adjacent sheriff's office with the same initials" certainly narrows things down a bit.

"Deputies will be fully dressed in their normal uniforms during this exceptionally unseasonably hot weather," the sheriff's office wrote. "Pants are not optional."

The post also strongly suggested deputies bring several changes of socks "to avoid swamp foot."

Regardless of where these two law enforcement agencies come down on this "hot-button" issue, it's fairly clear that many in the state are hoping for a cooldown.

Thursday brought with it the dubious honor of not only breaking a record for that day in history but also being the hottest October temperature recorded in Atlanta since records have been kept. It broke that record with a recorded high of 97 degrees - then added another degree for good measure.

The day also tied the record for most days in the year at 90 or above - a record that will be broken on Friday.

As for water cooling things off - most of metro Atlanta has been elevated to an "extreme drought" designation.

The good news, however, is that things might get a bit better on Saturday with morning temperatures in the 60s and afternoon highs in the low 80s. There's also a 30 percent chance of rain.

So, wherever you are, keep your pants on. Relief may be in sight.

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