Aiken Public Safety uses recycled military equipment, saving the department and taxpayers some extra money. (WRDW-TV / Nov. 9, 2011)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011
AIKEN, S.C. -- From the war fighter to the crime fighter, Aiken Public Safety has taken advantage of thousands of dollars of military equipment they are now using to protect you.
It's been a little over a year since Aiken Public Safety decided to be part of the program.
"We pay $1,200 a year to be in part of the program, allowing us to screen and get these items," said Aiken Public Safety Lt. David Turno.
The program is the Defense Logistics Agency's Return to Duty.
"You get taxpayer items for military use, and their life cycle is extended and is offered up to law enforcement agencies across the U.S.," explained Turno.
The department has gotten things ranging from $16,000 worth of flashlights for rifles to road spikes, and even gun sights that help officers do their job better.
"It enables us to more rapidly and accurately acquire our target if needed," said Sgt. Jake Mahoney.
It sounds almost to good to be true, but that $1,200 dollar fee has more than paid for itself.
"We calculate we have well over $100,000 worth of surplus items that we have been able to issue out to patrols," Turno said.
An electric car is latest addition of military surplus equipment to public safety; it is not only cost effective but also environmentally friendly.
"There's nothing wrong except for some batteries and once we put those in, we are going to have a great electric car for use downtown, at a fraction of the cost of a new one," Turno said.
And the department is not the only one saving money.
"These items have been paid by the tax payers once already for our military so why should taxpayers pay for them twice?" Turno said.