Sheriff’s Department seeks donations for volunteer equipment

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department is organizing a fundraiser to replenish equipment used by the Special Response Team.

Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said the team is comprised of about a dozen volunteers who respond to crisis situations as needed throughout the county.

The volunteers are not paid for their many hours of training, Tucker said.

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But, the equipment they use is severely outdated. The team’s tactical bulletproof vests were purchased in 2008 and were only guaranteed to last five years, Tucker said.

The department has applied for several grants in the past, but none have been awarded, he said.

“They’re going out there and putting their lives on the line while wearing protective equipment that’s substandard,” Tucker said.

While the expiration date on the equipment is just a guideline, Tucker said, “Who wants to take that chance?”

Other equipment the team uses regularly is outdated, including communication gear, ballistic helmets and gas masks, he said.

“We can’t wait any longer and hope the government bails us out. So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to go out and try to get the money,” Tucker said.

The department has opened a GoFundMe page at Donations can also be mailed to the department at 200 S. Main Street, Poplarville MS 39470.

According to the fundraising page, the department set a goal to raise $48,600 for the equipment.

“It’s a 12-member team, that’s the reason for the amount, but we know it’s a lot of money,” Tucker said. “It’s not something we take lightly.”

The tactical vests can cost up to $3,500 a piece, in addition to the cost of other equipment, he said.

“There’s no way to operate with the equipment we have,” Tucker said.

Through several donations from local businesses, the department is also raffling off three high-quality firearms, Tucker said.

Raffle tickets to win one of three prizes—a Savage semi-automatic A22 Magnum, a BushmasterXM15-E25 AR and a Springfield XDS .45 ACP 4.0 Bi-tone—are available for $5.

The drawing will be held at Davis Outdoors in Picayune on Sept. 30. Door prizes will also be given out from noon to 6 p.m. that day.

Winners don’t need to be present at the time of the drawing.

So far, the department has received a large amount of support from the community, who understands the need for this equipment, Tucker said.

“We’ve gotten some outstanding support from the community… we’re excited,” he said.

So far, the department has raised about $3,000.

About Julia Arenstam

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