The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office has received a federal grant that will allow them to purchase 6 new portable radios for six new deputy sheriff positions to be assigned to School Resource Officers in middle schools.
The department received $13,138 from the 2019 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Grant through the US Department of Justice. In 2018, the sheriff’s office used the grant to purchase 40 new gas masks to replace outdated masks. In 2017, grant allowed the agency to purchase 40 helmets and face shields for deputies.
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.