The "bad guys" help fund law enforcement's new equipment
POSTED: Monday, July 8, 2013 - 6:21pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 8:02am
LINDALE (KETK) — Local law enforcement is getting some new upgrades to equipment without hitting the taxpayer.
Smith County Precinct 5 in particular, which encompasses the Lindale area, is getting a lot of help, thanks to the bad guys.
Constable Kenneth Bibby says the upgrades are long overdue and very necessary for the job.
Each patrol car will soon be equipped with a Bushmaster rifle and a Remington shotgun, along with Stop Sticks.
All Constable Bibby had to do he says, was trade in older, confiscated guns with an East Texas gun dealer.
With the help of the DEA., Precinct 5 has a new drug dog, Max, who will get full vet care from the Animal Hospital of Lindale.
"They contacted us and said, 'Can you take care of our dog?' and we said, 'You betcha,'" said Beverly Dow of Animal Hospital of Lindale.
We're told the Lindale Brookshire's is also donating dog food for Max.
Officers are getting new protective vests from Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham.
They're all paid for by the DA's seized drug money.
Bingham says the drug money fund has helped provide better weapons and safety equipment all across Smith County.
He said they work with state officials and law enforcement after a drug bust to help in the seizure of anything involved with that felony, including narcotics, cash and cars.
The DA takes 30 percent of the seizure amount, and 70 percent goes back to the seizing agency.
Then, the DA office uses that money for any law enforcement purpose.
Departments all over the county can make requests for certain items they need.
The fund has paid for things like training, patrol cars, radios, drug dogs, ballistic helmets and shields, firearms, and much more.
"Over the past couple of months, we have turned tens of thousands of dollars back to law enforcement and their departments," Bingham said.
Bibby and Bingham both say it's a great way to give back to the community, and turn something negative into some good.
"We are very proud we are upgrading our department at minimum cost to anyone," Constable Bibby said.
"It's a win/win for them," Bingham said. "We take it from the criminal, turn it back to law enforcement, and it saves taxpayers that money."