State Senator James Seward was in Schoharie Friday to award $25,000 to the Schoharie County Sheriff's Tactical and Rescue Force for equipment lost during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
"Our local first responders face daunting challenges in the line of duty and in meeting today's financial challenges," said Senator Seward.
"Properly outfitting those who are on the frontline is crucial and that is why I have always proudly partnered with our police and emergency responders to ensure they have the tools they need to do their job."
The Schoharie County Sheriff's Tactical and Rescue Force (Tac-Force) is a volunteer component of the sheriff's department comprised of 14 deputized members.
The unit provides security during public events, crowd control, search and rescue, traffic control, and assistance to road patrol deputies when needed.
In August 2011, the Schoharie County Tac-Force lost most of its equipment when flood waters from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee overwhelmed the Schoharie Valley.
The voluntary unit used available funds to replace some of that equipment but still needs communications equipment, bullet proof vests and uniforms for the 14 Tac-Force members.
"The Tac-Force meets a specialized need and provides invaluable support that, as a small rural department, we would be hard pressed to provide otherwise. Senator Seward's backing means the Tac-Force members will be properly outfitted without compromising an already tight budget," said Sheriff Tony Desmond.
Lt. Colonel Ted Volkert who heads the Tac-Force said, they are grateful to Senator Seward for recognizing and responding to this critical need that will help Tac-Force members stay safe while protecting the public.
"Police officers and first responders have plenty to think about when they are on duty. Equipment concerns should not be part of the equation," Seward concluded.