Wilkes County Sheriff Chris Shew said he didn’t hesitate to accept an offer from the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office to donate some used equipment for his Critical Response Team.

In these tough economic times, Shew said, the 11 tactical vests and 13 helmets will enable his department to use resources in other areas.

The vests and helmets were available to be donated because the Iredell Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) recently received new state-of-the-art vests and helmets, courtesy of seized drug funds, said Iredell Sheriff Phil Redmond.

Lt. Kevin Black, who heads up the SERT unit, said the vests donated to Wilkes are not damaged or comprised in any way.

“We updated our equipment,” Black said.

Normally the old vests and helmets would have been disposed of, but Shew, who worked with Black in narcotics operations, said he jumped at the chance to get the equipment at no cost. Shew, who was elected for his first term as sheriff in November, said his Critical Response Unit is just getting its feet off the ground, and getting this equipment will provide a big boost to that unit and the department as a whole.

“This will enable us to provide our deputies with top-notch equipment at no cost,” Shew said. “This will mean we can put our resources to something else we need.”

Shew said this donation is just an example of the positive relationship he and his deputies have with members of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

Detective Sgt. Gerry Toney, a member of the ICSO SERT unit, said the new vests offer some benefits not seen in the previous vests. For starters, he said, they are much lighter.

Source: Donna Swicegood for

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