Sheriff seeks equipment for shooting responses

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers is looking for better equipment and training for deputies in the event of a shooting situation.

Myers asked the County Council last night to let him spend $35,000 on training, better body armor and other equipment to respond to an active shooter situation.

Myers said the officers have the weapons they need to respond, but their bulletrpoof vests are not strong enough to handle heavy rifle fire. The money would allow designated officers to carry the heavier body armor in their vehicles, but they would not wear it on a day-to-day basis.

Myers said he would also seek tactical training for deputies with various SWAT organizations including the Columbus Police Department team, the Indianapolis Metro SWAT unit and the FBI.

Ideally, the sheriff’s department would have six to eight deputies trained and ready to respond to an incident, rather than having to wait for another agency to respond, the sheriff said.

Myes asked the council to reallocate money left over from employee payroll this year. Myers had originally planned to return the money to the county general fund, but instead asked for the transfer, which the county council approved.