Iredell County Sheriff's Office improving capabilities

In Iredell County, much of the help the Sheriff's Office gets on SWAT calls and jail issues has been coming from other counties, but that will soon be changing.

For years, they’ve been relying on mutual aid, but some of that has come at a big cost. On Tuesday, the sheriff says he will be taking everything local, sooner, rather than later.

There’s been a lot of work around the Sheriff’s Office-- a lot of it construction, some of it training, to beef up what they have, but for a long time they’ve needed help from other counties when things got bad.

“We’ve had to borrow from another agency or from somewhere else out of the county,” Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell said. 

In situations where help was needed at a moment's notice, there's been a wait, and as Sheriff Campbell tells FOX 46, that wait could mean life or death, and there are too many examples to note.

“Last night, the shooting in Wilson County of the state trooper-- if there had to be a rescue attempt there, and that happened here, I wanted to make sure we had the means to do that,” Campbell said. 

The help from other counties doesn't end there. The county also has to deal with sending dozens of inmates to other jails in other counties because of construction.

Tuesday night, though, was a big step in tackling both. Iredell county commissioners approved the purchase of an armored vehicle.

The armored vehicle they're looking at costs around $300,000. There's no timetable yet on when that will be out on the road.

It's being paid for with money from drug seizures, while the county is still paying to house prisoners in other counties. 

“There is a cost for housing them in other counties, this is going to change,” said Campbell. 

He says that change will be coming within the next six months when the jail expansion is completed.