Last updated: January 03. 2014 5:27PM - 1621 Views
Rachel Baldwin rbaldwin@civitasmedia.com

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Rachel Baldwin


WILLIAMSON - Having up-to-date equipment is a necessity for any law enforcement agency and, a little at a time, the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department is acquiring items that allow them to do their job and conduct business in an efficient and timely manner.

Recent purchases include new cruisers for the department, as well as brush guards, evidence kits and radios. One of the sheriff’s deputies sees a need to add other items to the list of the department’s acquisitions, and has begun a campaign to acquire 10 mounted radar units and in-dash cameras for its fleet of vehicles.

Deputy Max Mounts has been hard at work with Mingo County grant writer, Leigh Ann Ray, and state House of Delegates member, Justin Marcum, to apply for funding to purchase the radar units and cameras. Mounts had contacted several in-car dash camera companies to check on prices and to also receive additional information on the items.

Mounts is hopeful that with Marcum’s assistance, avenues may open to apply for federal funding to help with the cost, and plans to contact U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III and U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall to get them on board.

“The radars will be such a huge asset in properly enforcing the speeds in Mingo County,” the deputy said. “The in-dash cameras will serve as a line of defense when officers are accused of wrongdoing during an arrest, and would play a part in stopping the rising number of lawsuits.”

Sheriff James Smith and Chief Field Deputy Joe Smith have given the project headed by Mounts their full support, and expressed their gratitude to him for taking the initiative to begin this campaign and see it through.

“We employ a great group of guys and it’s wonderful to see them them step forward and work toward a goal that benefits this department,” said Sheriff Smith. “Max is working hard on this project and I’m hopeful the funding will fall into place and these items can be purchased for our officers.”

“It’s very important to know my officers are safe while doing their duties, and have the equipment necessary to perform these tasks to the fullest extent and be able to prove and document exactly what goes on during an arrest or while issuing a citation.”

Mounts is hopeful that with the 2014 legislative session beginning next Wednesday, this project will receive the attention it deserves and funding will be granted.

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