News 12 at 6 o'clock/ Tuesday July 1, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Richmond County Sheriff's Office will be patrolling the waters for the first time ever in their own boats. Sheriff Richard Roundtree says his department was given two boats at the price of almost half-a-million dollars.
In total, the Sheriff says his office received $3.5 million in crime fighting equipment and it was all free.
"Yeah I think it will be a good idea," said Augusta Resident Elenora Devine.
Devine and her grand kids visit the River-walk and Savannah river frequently. She says having extra deputies on the water is a good thing.
"It's for the safety of the people who come to the River-walk," said
The sheriff says the office did not use any of the money seized or forfeited in drugs and property crimes to pay for the boat, Humvee, or other items. They received the items from a military surplus.
The Sheriff says the equipment was free. The only cost was transporting it here which he says was paid with seized drug money and property.
"These acquisitions are not only good for Richmond County, but there good for every county and every community that surrounds us," said Sheriff Roundtree.
In a six month period the sheriff's office received more than 100 surplus line items from the military. Deputies received more than 6,000 ready to eat meals in case of a disaster, 26 face shields and two boats.
"All of those items total almost $3.5 million in supplies and equipment with absolutely zero cost to Augusta-Richmond County," said Sheriff Roundtree.
The sheriff's office will be hitting the Savannah River with Georgia DNR and South Carolina DNR. They'll have two men per boat and if you're found in violation of any law on the water you will be arrested. Sheriff Roundtree says these items could reduce his overall spending while keeping Augusta Richmond County safe on land and on water.