News 12 at 11 o'clock/ Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Three hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment will soon be making it's way to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
On Tuesday, Commissioners approved the Sheriff's request for the money from the gun sale in October.
After more than 20 years on the job, Road Patrol Sgt. Scott Redmon knows how important it is to have the most up-to-date equipment.
"It becomes tools of the trade. Something that's necessary to fulfill our jobs day in and day out," he said.
From tasers to guns to bullet proof vests, those tools of the trade, save lives everyday.
"It gives you a level of confidence knowing that you have the appropriate equipment to get you through your day," said Redmon.
However, each piece of equipment costs money and that can be tough to come by in the county budget.
"We know that money's tough right now so we're trying to do the best we can with what we do receive," said Colonel Robert Partain.
But as of Wednesday they have an extra $319,000 thanks to commissioners. The vote Tuesday gave the department all the proceeds from their gun sale earlier this fall to buy new equipment.
Those purchases will include 100 bullet proof vests to replace the expired ones, 20 more vests for the SWAT team, 40 patrol rifles, 73 tasers to finish equipping every deputy in the office, and an Automobile Vehicle Locator (AVL) system for 911 dispatch. The AVL will equip all patrol cars with GPS.
"The AVL is gonna tell you where your cars are at and give your dispatchers an idea," explained Partain. "They're gonna see it up on the screen and they'll know exactly where every car is that is working at the time."
That means faster response times, more accountability, and the ability to monitor high crime areas. All the new tools will help keep the sheriff's office moving forward.
"We're getting into the 21st century. We're finally catching up I think in a lot of aspects with the equipment that we didn't have that we now are seeing put in place," said Redmon.
They are hoping to order the equipment by the beginning of the year and hopefully will have it all in by March.
They said all in all they consider the gun sale a success. They have a lot more firearms to dispose of and say they plan to have another auction, but it could be a while before they can get everything ready for it.