CHESHIRE — The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office recently acquired several all-terrain vehicles from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) — vehicles that will be utilized by deputies for various law enforcement tasks.
Six military all-terrain high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV) or Humvees, as well as a M35 or “deuce and a half” truck, were acquired by the sheriff’s office through a program known as “1033” that permits the secretary of defense to transfer excess DOD supplies and equipment to state and local law enforcement for their use in law enforcement duties.
According to Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning, the vehicles will not only be used in illicit drug enforcement, but also when needed for search and rescue operations and other disaster-related uses.
“They’ll be used for everything from marijuana eradication to the litter program,” Sheriff Browning said. “That big truck back there, the deuce and a half, we had those before in this same program years ago and they were very handy when there were floods and different types of disasters.”
The property acquired through the DOD, which can include not only vehicles, but also tactical and riot gear, watercraft, weapons and night vision, can be obtained by law enforcement at no cost — with the exception of shipping and transportation costs.
According to Browning, the vehicles were transported to Gallia County from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton and are currently being housed on the grounds of the Gallia County Work Release Center in Cheshire.
“It was a resource that was free to us. It didn’t cost us anything other than going there and getting them and the fuel and time to get them back,” Browning said.
The program mandates that law enforcement agencies request participation through the governor’s appointed state coordinator who will facilitate the application for the acquirement of the equipment through the Federal Law Enforcement Support Office.
All equipment must be strictly accounted for and, reportedly, when it is no longer needed, the law enforcement agency must request permission to turn in, transfer or dispose of the equipment.
According to Browning, all of the vehicles will be marked to identify them as sheriff’s office vehicles and, of the six Humvees, three will most likely be utilized for parts to maintain the three remaining vehicles.
“The vehicles are in good shape, run great and we should get a lot of use out of them,” Browning said.