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The Spencer County Sheriff’s Office recently announced that the department received new patrol rifles and duty pistols through the Department of Defense Law Enforcement Support Office Program.
These issued weapons will now allow all deputies to be issued patrol rifles and side-arms and will mean the deputies no longer have to provide their own weapons, Sheriff Donald ‘Buddy’ Stump and Deputy Carl Reesor said Monday afternoon.
The weapons are brand new and have never been opened and have never been fired, Stump said.
Reesor said no deputy will be assigned a weapon before receiving training on it, but said deputies who have recently graduated from the academy in Richmond were trained on how to use patrol rifles and can be assigned weapons as soon as possible.
The weapons were given to the department free of charge.
“They’re ours as long as we need them,” Stump said, adding that through the program the only way the department can get rid of the weapons is to assign them to another law enforcement agency or to turn them back in to the Department of Defense.
The rifles fire a more precise shot and can be used from a further distance to maintain deputy safety, Reesor said.
“I hope we never have to use them,” Stump said. “But it’s nice to have them if we need them.”
Through this same support program, the sheriff’s department has received several low mileage vehicles, including Hummers and cargo trucks, trailers and emergency generators.
That equipment will assist the sheriff’s office with drug interdiction, law enforcement duties in inclement weather, transporting supplies, materials and emergency electric, according to a news release.
Stump said the equipment helps the county prepare for dangerous situations and natural disasters such as the tornado that hit West Liberty earlier this year.
“We’ve got to be prepared,” Stump said. “We never have been prepared in this county. Heaven forbid we have a situation like West Liberty.”
Reesor noted that Taylorsville is prone to flooding and many of the vehicles received from the Department of Defense will drive through flood waters.
Through the Law Enforcement Support Office Program, the sheriff’s department has received over $400,000 in equipment year to date at no cost to the county, the news release said.
The Department of Defense has had a lot of surplus equipment and the Spencer County Sheriff’s Office is one of many agencies that has taken advantage of the support program, Reesor said.
The department also received a Kentucky Office of Homeland Security LEPP grant for $8,250 that allowed each deputy to receive new body armor, Stump said.