If it was, it would reveal instantly that he was an officer, and not the vacationer that the sheriff had pictured him to be.
late 14c., "freedom from obligations, leisure, release" (from some activity or occupation), from Old French vacation, from Latin vacationem (nominative vacatio) "leisure, a being free from duty," noun of state from past participle stem of vacare "be empty, free, or at leisure" (see vain).
Meanings "state of being unoccupied; process of vacating" are early 15c. Meaning "formal suspension of activity" (in reference to schools, courts, etc.) is recorded from mid-15c. As the U.S. equivalent of what in Britain is called a holiday, it is attested from 1878.
1876, from vacation (n.). Related: Vacationed; vacationing.
A prison sentence: who won a 20 years' vacation in the Big House (1920+ Underworld)