There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s got the badge to prove it — sort of.
He’s not really a sheriff or even a deputy, but he is the law when it comes to the Destin Fishing Rodeo.
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On Monday, long-time Rodeo weighmaster Bruce Cheves was given a badge, and it’s not your usual club name badge. The shiny gold badge attached to black leather looks official and reads “Destin Fishing Rodeo Weighmaster, Bruce Cheves, since 1984.”
The idea of a police-type badge came to Cheves while he was watching a detective program.
He saw an undercover cop flip out their badge.
“I need that, ” Cheves said. “A gold badge that says everything that it’s suppose to say.”
During the October Rodeo, Cheves talked to Rodeo executive director Helen Donaldson about the idea and she was all for it.
“Bruce has always had a name badge, but they just didn’t seem worthy of his prestigious position with the Rodeo,” Donaldson said.
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After a little research, Donaldson found a place where she could have one made and she presented it to him Monday afternoon.
“It was actually supposed to be a gift for Bruce Cheves Day on Oct. 16, but it took quite some time to get it custom made,” she said.
And for Cheves, it was worth the wait.
Monday afternoon, he was spotted at the fishing docks in Destin sporting his new badge.
When asked what his plans are for the badge, he said, “to weigh fish.”
“When they ask who are you? ... flip ... I’m the weighmaster dude. I am the weighmaster,” Cheves said.
Although the 71st Rodeo is over, Cheves said he hopes to wear the badge at the Rodeo for many years to come.
“This is my badge ... my name tag,” he said. “I can’t lose this one.”
“There’s a new sheriff in town and it ain’t his first Rodeo,” Donaldson said.