The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office has received a federal grant totaling $12,366.
Chief Deputy Bengie Gaddis appeared before Johnston County commissioners this month informing them the department has received funds from the 2017 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Grant which allows for equipment purchases.
Gaddis said the sheriff’s office will use the funds to purchase 40 riot helmets and face shields for deputies.
“I hope you never have to use them,” Commissioner Cookie Pope told Chief Deputy Gaddis.
“We hope so too, but we have to be prepared,” Gaddis replied.
No match county funds are required.
The Edward Byrne grant is named after a New York City police officer who was murdered in 1988. Officer Byrne was sitting in his patrol car watching a home for a complaint of illegal activity. He was distracted by a man who knocked on the passenger side window of his patrol car as a second man crept up on the driver’s side and shot Byrne 5 times in the head. He was only 22.
The murder made national headlines. George H.W. Bush carried Byrne’s badge with him on his campaign for President in 1988.
Afterwards, the US Justice Department named a yearly grant to law enforcement agencies across the US in his memory.