Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Donations Provide Vital Equipment for Winston County Sheriff Department

Winston County Sheriff’s Deputies will soon be fully
Sheriff Pugh w Judy Sanders at Winston Academy
to thank students for their fundraising efforts
equipped with new protective vests and body cameras thanks to the generosity and support of the community. What began as a casual discussion in a meeting at Poplar Flat Baptist Church led to a fundraising effort that included several area churches, students at Winston Academy, private citizens and the Sheriff’s Citizen’s Advisory Board.

It only took a few months to gather the necessary funds (almost $5000) to purchase 8 body armor vests for all fulltime deputies on staff. Additional funds have also been collected to purchase a sufficient number of body cameras for all personnel as well. The purchase and implementation of 8 cameras should be complete within the next month at a cost of around $7000.
Winston Academy Students hear from Sheriff's Department 

Chief Deputy Keith Alexander said that the vests were needed because the existing body armor used by the Department was outdated and unsafe as well as significantly heavier than the new vests.

“The way things are today, you never know what kind of situation
New lightweight protective vests to be
used by WCSO
that you are walking into… you just don’t know what’s on people’s mind now and it’s dangerous for our officers.”

Alexander noted that without the donations, the purchases of equipment would not likely have been possible as county budgets are limited.

Once provided, it will be county policy for all full time deputies to wear the protective vests and body cameras while on duty.

Sheriff Jason Pugh thanked the community for their support – “It is amazing. We couldn’t be more proud of our community for helping to buy equipment that could possibly save the lives of our officers. The effort spread like wildfire across the community and before we knew it- the money was there. We had been working on the purchase of body cameras through our Citizen’s Advisory Board and through CrimeStoppers but we didn’t know that we would have the funds to purchase all of our needed body cameras.”

Judy Sanders, a member of Poplar Flat Baptist Church and a teacher at Winston Academy was integral to the fundraising effort. After the church pledged to raise funds, Sanders received permission from Winston Academy to undertake fundraising efforts as a community project. Students raised approximately $1400 toward the needs.
Sheriff Chief Deputy Keith Alexander  (front left) Judy Sanders (front center) and
Sheriff Jason Pugh (front right) with members of Poplar Flat Baptist Church

Said Sanders, “ That’s just good Winston County Spirit. We are a good community, we have fine people here. We have a wonderful church family, we love each other. We grow together, we pray together and that’s what keeps us together.”

As others became aware of the efforts, funds began to come from churches and individuals including: Poplar Flat, South Louisville Baptist, Antioch Baptist and Ellison Ridge Baptist as well as Gerald Weaver, Mr. and Mrs. Buster Moody, Leslie Charlton and Brenda Miles, in addition to CrimeStoppers and the Sheriff’s Advisory Board.

The protective vests are already onsite and will be disbursed to deputies immediately. Cameras will be ordered in the near future and should be available in approximately a month.