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CCSO approved to apply for Wyoming Homeland Security grant to purchase tactical armor

GILLETTE, Wyo. — On Tuesday, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office was approved by the Campbell County Board of Commissioners to apply for a grant to replace tactical body armor nearing the end of its warranty.

Lieutenant Paul Pownall presented the request to the board, explaining that applying for the Wyoming Homeland Security grant would enable the sheriffs to purchase specialty equipment outside of their standard budget. If awarded, the grant would be used to replace 14 sets of tactical body armor and helmets used by the Special Response Unit, Pownall said.

Chairman Shelstad asked if it was the Special Response Unit that had been involved in responding to an incident in Sheridan earlier this year, further expressing that the board was aware the team had a responsibility to serve the broader area of northeastern Wyoming as a whole when called upon, and not just Campbell County.

Pownall confirmed that unit members had been involved in Sheridan and that the unit, comprised of 12 tactical members and a two-person bomb squad, assisted “quite a bit” with neighboring counties.

Purchasing new specialized gear through the grant would also take the cost burden off of Campbell County residents, Pownall said. They had previously won the grant five years ago, which they used to purchase current tactical gear.

“The body armor has a five-year shelf life or warranty on it, and so the sets that we’re currently using are reaching their end of life.” Pownall said. “So we’re looking to replace those.”

The 14 sets of gear and helmets are individually fitted to each wearer and would only be worn by one team member the duration of their use. The grant application would seek $70,000 to cover the expense, and the board unanimously approved the request to apply for the grant.