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Sheriff's Office Looking For Alternate Funding For Safety Equipment

Flickr user III Marine Expeditionary Force/MCI Pacific

Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau is looking for funds in other places after her office was denied almost $100,000 worth of equipment funding from a federal grant.

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant is a fund to help state and local entities prevent or reduce crime and violence and is administered through the Justice Department.

The sheriff hoped to get some of the local funds to purchase vests, helmets, AR15 rifles, and shields for deputies in case of a violent incident at the civil or criminal courthouse.

Pamerleau said she is confident the money can be found elsewhere because it is a small price to pay for saving the life of a first responder.

"We want every officer on patrol to have what's called 'combat gauze' -- specializedtourniquets -- because they're often the first officers at the scene. One of my officers was in a situation where he got a gash across his arm, and it nicked and artery. Had he not had that combat gauze, he would have died," Pamerleau said.

The sheriff’s office originally created a budget of about $300,000 to fully equip a team of 15 deputies but that has been pared down to $93,000.

Pamerleau said there are other avenues that come up during the budget process, and she will look into the operational funding or asset forfeiture next.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.