PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Safety equipment is essential for law enforcement officers responding to dangerous situations. A unit of first responders in Pearl River County is hoping to raise the funds needed to replace its outdated gear.
The Pearl River County Sheriff's Department is in desperate need of some new safety gear. In particular, the department's special response team.
"They're in the line of fire a little bit more, so their equipment needs to be at a higher level. So, this equipment that we're using now was originally purchased in 2008," said Chief Deputy Shane Tucker.
According to Tucker, most of the equipment is only rated to stay in good shape for five years. There are tactical vests, hearing protection, helmets, and masks. Back when it was originally purchased, the equipment was funded through federal grants.
Tucker says the department has been applying for grants for several years now.
"We haven't received that funding, and we're just not going to sit around and wait for the government to fix our problem," Tucker said.
So, the department is reaching out to the public for help. A crowd-sourcing page has been set up. Tucker said new equipment will be expensive. The goal right now is more than $48,000. It's something he says will be worth it to keep the deputies safe.
"As this equipment starts to break down more and more, we're just risking our guys' safety," said Tucker.