Sheriff’s office gets $19,000 in new riot gear

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo — El Paso County sheriff’s deputies got some new equipment that will help keep them safe.

They got new riot gear, including helmets, shields, batons, and forearm guards.

The equipment cost them $19,000 in this year’s budget, and it caught them up with other law enforcement agencies that already have this gear.

“We’ve always had a small quantity of riot control gear, but given the number of deputies that we have now, as early as January we were talking about that we needed to get more safety equipment for our people that we didn’t have before,” said Lt. Rick McMorran of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

This prepares deputies for the unknown.

“Basic items like a protective helmet and a face shield and some forearm protection; those are issued to each individual deputy, so they would have those available with them in their car and then the other larger items, such as a shield, are items that would be brought to a large incident,” said McMorran.

Without this equipment, deputies would be in danger during a riot.

“Any kind a large object like a rock or something like that that can strike somebody in the head can cause a head injury, and it’s not just that particular officer who’s affected. It’s other officers who would then have to render aid to them and then are not available to help injured citizens that might need to be evacuated, or just to try restore peace,” said McMorran.

They said the times they would actually need this equipment are rare, but they said they’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

“We’ve had a lot of peaceful protests that the people have done that are never a concern, it’s just when you get a group of people like at the carnival, where they’re committing criminal acts and injuring people that we have to do that. In our community here those instances have been very rare,” said McMorran.

They said getting this new equipment isn’t in response to larger protests throughout the United States, like the ones in Ferguson, Missouri or Baltimore.

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