Henry County Public Safety agencies will soon have more resources at their disposal to respond to serious public threats and urgent safety matters after the Henry County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to purchase a Leno BearCat, 30 3M PELTOR ultra-light weight helmets equipped with technology and 10 night vision goggles for the Henry County Police Department. The action came the May 7 Commission meeting.

The BearCat, an armored multi-use vehicle will be used for high risk calls like an active shooter or barricaded gunman, and will allow HCPD SWAT to engage, neutralize or eliminate a threat on the scene while increasing survivability and visibility for other officers. The helmets have push to talk capabilities that allow SWAT officers to speak to one another and not be heard by suspects or the public and the night vision goggles that are also being purchased will allow officers to see images in total darkness.

Deputy County Manager Brad Johnson presented the resolution to the Board, talked about planning and implementation stages to attain capital equipment for HCPD and referenced both the county’s extensive week-long FEMA training last summer and the recent police standoff that took place last month.

“We have developed an executive committee that consist of the police chief, the EMA director, myself, training officers and have been working for about eight months to develop a team approach to mitigate any issues that might come about in Henry County,” said Johnson. “Sadly enough, on April 4 we had a casualty to hit Henry County that we were not prepared for.”

Henry County Police Chief Mark Amerman was also on hand during the presentation and explained the reasoning behind the requested purchase of these items.

“After the incident that happened on April 4 that was so widely televised and talked about, I sat down with Mr. Johnson and we came up with a list,” said Amerman. “Things on the list included an armored vehicle.”

He further stated that the HCPD had to call for assistance from several surrounding counties and relied on them for their resources. Amerman said that it is a necessity that the county owns an armored vehicle.

“It is unfortunate we had to wait for this kind of incident to happen but the county is in desperate need of having an armored vehicle for the safety of its officers, its SWAT team and the citizens of Henry County,” said Amerman.

The BearCat from Lenco Armored Vehicles cost $294,934; the 30 ultra-light weight helmets purchase will be from Botach Tactical in the amount of $52,740; and the night vision goggles from the Georgia Department of Public Safety cost $35,500. Money for this equipment will be allocated from the Fund Balance account.

For more information on the Henry County Police Department, visit www.henrycountyga.com/police.