New equipment in Pushmataha County Sheriff's Office

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ANTLERS, Okla. (KXII) -- The deputies of the Pushmataha County Sheriff's Office didn't have a lot of equipment to use on the job when they started working a few months ago.

Sheriff BJ Hedgecock saw it as a safety issue and the community has answered the call to help.

With the lack of equipment the Pushmataha County Sheriff's Office had a few months ago, safety was an issue with the deputies.

"Well the new equipment is a wonderful thing for the deputies because there was definitely some officer safety concerns when we first came on board. The sheriff addressed those," Pushmataha County Patrol Commander Darrin Goode said.

The community also helped by donating equipment to the sheriff's office to protect them in the line of duty.

Surrounding police departments as well as local groups and businesses helped with donations.

Some of the new equipment has been new hand held radios, body cameras, and tazers.

The hand held radios were essential for the deputies with the county having cell service issues and made it hard to keep in contact with each other.

"A hand held radio for a deputy is a lifeline when he's out of his unit," Goode said. "The deputy gets in a foot pursuit and needs backup, his only way to call for that is going to be a hand held radio."

"It's hard to when you're out talking to dial a phone number or something," Pushmataha County Sheriff BJ Hedgecock said. "In this county, cells phone don't work so well with all the hill country."

With a lack of tazers as well, that brought concern with how to handle a dangerous situation without using their firearms.

"It's a safety issue," Sheriff Hedgecock said. "You know it escalates instead of the person going to deadly force. You know they can use a tazer when someone is high on narcotics or stuff to control the situation. It makes it safer for the deputy and safer for the deputy."

But receiving this equipment wouldn't be possible without the support of the Pushmataha County community.

"The ability for us to get that equipment on our own was probably next to impossible," Goode said. "The generosity of the community and the county has been instrumental in us being able to get these things that we need for our deputies."

Sheriff Hedgecock has also ordered fingerprint kits for his deputies and will also have Trauma kits for their units ordered and brought to them in the future.