New equipment for T'ville cops - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New equipment for T'ville cops

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Thomasville- Some new gear at the Thomasville Police Department and the Thomas County Sheriff's Office is aimed at officer safety; some of it helps speed up response time.

     Thomasville / Thomas County Drug agents can now go into meth labs completely sealed off from any dangerous chemicals. Commander Kevin Lee says the breathing apparatus and suits are must have pieces of equipment. "Ten years from now, if we breathe the harmful chemicals and toxic chemicals, we may develop cancer if we didn't have these suits."

     The drug squad received three sets of the gear for about $10,000. But the best part about that is, the taxpayers didn't foot the bill. "We got the money out of asset forfeiture, which is money that we seized from drug dealers," says Lee.

     The drug squad isn't the only division reaping the benefits of new equipment. The underwater recovery team has a new trailer. And it came stocked full of new gear. "We use a full face mask system. It's got voice communications which enables divers to talk topside, but also diver to diver," says team leader Tim Roberts.

     The dive team's new set-up not only consolidates their equipment, it also speeds up response time, and streamlines operations. "We pull up on scene with this particular trailer, the divers can enter the trailer, get fully suited up from head to toe, and walk out the rear of the trailer, straight into the water," says Roberts. Previously, the dive team transported their gear in patrol cars, a nuisance, and invitation for trouble with high-pressure air tanks. But now, all equipment is secure.

     The dive team's trailer and all of the equipment inside cost about $15,000. It was paid for through donations and a joint budget with the police department and sheriff's office.

Posted by stephen.ryan@walb.com