Wichita Co. Sheriff's Office Getting New Equipment

The Wichita County Sheriff's Office is getting new tools to help keep Texoma safe.

Wichita County Commissioners approved purchasing new equipment today during their special session.

The Sheriff's Office will spend a little more than $11,000 but not at tax-payers expense. The money will come from 2009 JAG grant funds.

The Sheriff's Office is buying several items including a device called a Bloodhound which hunts out cell phone signals. It will be used in the Wichita County Jail and the Jail Annex. Sheriff David Duke said that having a cell phone in a jail can pose a serious threat to security. "When you have something like that, it is a security breach. Its contraband in the jail. And anyone considering an escape knows they can use that to get away with information going in and out of the jail."

The Sheriff's Office will also spend more than half the money on a crisis rescue phone.
The phone is what the swat team uses to communicate with suspects during hostage situations. Duke said "(communication is) very important , especially if you have a hostage in there... If someone is asking for a certain demand, or they have something that they need, or they are wanting then we can communicate with them so we can get some resolve to the whole situation."

The equipment list also includes a new taser, and five pro-tech correction spike stab vests. Duke told Commissioners the taser is one of the most-effective tool the Sheriff's Office has. He attributed a drop in costs related to physical injury to the taser being intimidating enough for suspects to not run from or fight with Deputies.