Texas Connects Us: Sizing Up Bennie After Nearly 50 Years

Bennie Bell has a job that fits.

She's been sizing up deputies, officers and security guards from across North Texas for nearly 50 years at Uniforms Inc. in Dallas.

"I get an opportunity to say things that other women wish they could," Bell joked.

"You're going to get a hug when you come in and you're going to get a hug when you walk out," said Brett Jennings, with the Dallas County Sheriff's Department. "She's going to tell you how good you look."

Through the years some things have changed.

"You come in and say I'm still this size," Jennings said. "And she looks at you and says, 'No honey, no honey.'"

"Oh, Lord yes," Bell laughed. "All of our bodies have changed. Mine has changed right along with them."

When she started measuring officers for their uniforms in 1967, times were different.

"They called me back after the interview and said we're gonna pay you $1.90!" she said.

She had only asked for $1.80 an hour.

"I got it made now," she remembered thinking.

She has been fitting Dallas County sheriff's deputy Kevin Tillery since he was 15 years old.

"In 1977," Tillery said. "That's when I was a Dallas Police Explorer."

And before that, Bell even fitted Tillery's father.

"She's like a family member," Tillery added. "I see her more than I see some of my own aunts."

And Bell has no plans of slowing down. As long as there's work, you'll find her smiling and laughing at Uniforms Inc.

"I have my health, strength, and I thank God for that," she said. "I'm still able to do it, I can still get down and measure, I can still do it all."

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