County seeks Homeland Security grant for active-shooter equipment

While most people want to believe an active-shooter incident would never happen in the Columbus area, Bartholomew County commissioner Larry Kleinhenz said the fact remains that it could.

And if such an outbreak of violence did erupt, law enforcement must provide the most rapid response with the least possible risk, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Capt. Brandon Slate said.

That’s why the commissioners have unanimously agreed to endorse a grant request that, if approved, would provide 60 active-shooter kits to sheriff’s deputies, which consist of:

  • A quick deployment bag (including items such as first-aid trauma supplies, flex-cuffs, water and spare pistol magazines)
  • A specialized bulletproof attack vest
  • A ballistic helmet

If the Indiana Department of Homeland Security agrees to provide $91,802, the kits would be distributed to all Bartholomew County merit and reserve deputies, as well as all courthouse security and jail transport personnel, Slate said.

During an active-shooter situation, such gear needs to be available to law enforcement personnel at a moment’s notice, Slate said.

“Just having 15 or 20 of them sitting back at headquarters does no good,” Slate said. “It needs to be immediately accessible.”

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5636.