Sheriff Brady isn’t shopping for new toys for the “special operators” of SWAT.
On Nov. 17, an EF3 tornado struck Corydon causing widespread damage and knocking out electricity to the community, which in turn shut down the water treatment plant.
A dire situation, it could have been even worse without a proactive move made by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department.
For several years, the agency has been obtaining pieces of surplus military equipment. One of those is a generator that was used by Corydon’s water treatment plant to keep it up and running in the aftermath of the tornado.
“Their water treatment plant was down due to lack of power,” said Henderson County Sheriff Ed Brady. “We took our big generator out there, plugged it in and they were able to run their water treatment plant because we had a generator available … that we got through the military.”
Through the military surplus program, Brady said the sheriff’s office has obtained roughly $1 million in equipment for the county, including Humvees, a bucket truck and a mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicle known as an MRAP.
Brady said the department found the equipment through a designated site for military surplus equipment.
“You have to sign up and be approved,” he said. “The state police are the ones who coordinate this in Kentucky. You see it on the computer, you think it’s a piece of equipment you can use and you put in for it, you request it. You have to be approved by the state first.”
fter getting state approval, the request is sent to the federal government by way of the Law Enforcement Support Office in Battle Creek, Michigan. This office also has to approve the request. Police agencies and foreign militaries get priority. If the equipment isn’t placed with these groups, then it’s destroyed.
“(Most) of this equipment is not for daily use … this is all for rescue-type situations, flooding situations, tornado situations and Henderson County or any county in Kentucky couldn’t afford to buy this type of equipment,” Brady said. “You have to buy the essentials. So I feel like we’ve been able, through the government surplus program, to obtain equipment to serve people in emergencies that normally we couldn’t afford or have available to us.”
“The thing that generates the most interest is the MRAP,” he said. “We consider it a rescue vehicle. If we had a deputy shot in the middle of a field and an active shooter was still there and we couldn’t get to them with any other piece of equipment, we could get to them with that … or get to a civilian” in need.