LUXORA,AR (KAIT) --Fund raising has paid off in the form of 20 new assault rifles for Mississippi County Sheriff's deputies.
A few months ago before he passed away, I sat down with Quorum Court member Donnie McDaniel and listened to his plans to raise funds for assault rifles. This plan came into fruition shortly after 4 officers were gunned down in West Memphis resulting in 2 officers deaths.
Sheriff James Sanders said once McDaniel found out what the department needed he quickly got the fundraiser ball rolling.
Judi Chiles, McDaniels' Brother said her late brother was passionate about getting the funds raised for the rifles.
"He said we could do this ourselves. Let's start making a list and calling people and getting this together."
The Money began to roll in from a variety of sources.
Sanders, "We had asked for 10 weapons and we would go out and try to get the others and they have far exceeded what we had already projected in having. "
The rifle is a semi-automatic AR-15 made by Panther Arms and cost a little over $700 each. The rifle is very similar to what soldiers carry in the field. Each deputy will carry a rifle in their car with them.
Sanders, "These are weapons we plan to use in our everyday vehicles. In the event of responding to situations in first response calls. "
Each rifle is engraved with the name of the donor or in whose honor the rifle was purchased.
Thursday a gathering was held at the Sheriffs' Office to display the rifles to the donors and to present McDaniel's sister a plaque in honor of his long service to the Quorum Court and the county. Chiles told me her brother had a way of getting things done.
Chiles, "No one ever turned him down and it just grew and grew and grew. And it's still growing so he's left a wonderful legacy."
The rifles should be in the field in about a month after use protocols are determined and the deputies have qualified with the weapons on the range.
But Thursday's event was more than just showing off hardware. It was about thanking and remembering.
Sanders, "What this is all about is thanking the people of Mississippi County that have stepped forward."
If you would like to make a donation toward a rifle or other equipment you can contact the Mississippi County Sheriffs' office for more information.