Monday, June 17, 2024

New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office hopes to equip unit with new riot gear

The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office is hoping to acquire $20,000 worth of new riot suits for its deputies (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY NHCSO)
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is hoping to acquire $20,000 worth of new riot suits for its deputies (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY NHCSO)

WILMINGTON — With tensions across the country on high, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is looking to upgrade its civil disturbance equipment in the form of $20,000 worth of riot control suits to bring the total amount of suits to 110. The department is also ready to acquire nearly $80,000 worth of upgrades to the county’s ANDROS Robots.

On April 2, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will vote on approving the company Sirchie as the sole source vendor to purchase the TacCommander Riot Control Suits.

According to the request submitted from the sheriff’s office, “These suits are fully adjustable to fit most officers and would eliminate the need to purchase suits each time there is a change in personnel. These suits do not have to be assigned to an individual officer which allows the department the ability to have a supply of suits available to deploy at any given time. Patrol will now be fully outfitted.”

New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Jerry Brewer said that the Sheriff’s Office was able to obtain 70 of the suits last year, and the additional 40 will provide enough for the entire patrol division.

NHCSO have fortunately never had to deploy the riot gear, according to Brewer, but the technology has also not been around for very long, he said.

The suits would be used for both training situations, as well as civil disturbance events.

The county’s ANDROS Robot will also be getting some upgrades to both hardware and software, Brewer said.

The robots, which were originally intended for use with explosive ordinances have been utilized in other methods since their conception. In one instance, deputies were able to send the robot into a situation to communicate through a microphone with a hostile subject, instead of putting a deputy in harms way, Brewer said.

The robot has been due upgrades for some time now, he said. The motherboard and other operating equipment date back to 2004 and have become obsolete.

In December of 2017, the Board of Commissioners approved a budget amendment for $187,034 from the Port Security Grant that allows for the purchase of equipment specific to maritime response for emergencies and tactical operations. The $75,604 for the upgrades to the ANDROS Robots would come from this grant money.


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