JEFFERSON-Southern Justice, a reality crime show the depicts the day-to-day operations of Ashe County Sheriff’s office, continues to pay dividends for Ashe County.
Ashe County Sheriff James Williams said his department recently received an additional check of $40,000 from the show’s producers for the county’s continued participation in the National Geographic filmed series.
Altogether, the department has received a total of $120,000 since the show first aired two years ago.
Williams approached the board of commissioners Monday morning to seek permission to use the funds to purchase new equipment for patrol deputies.
“This not tax payer money; it’s not coming out of the budget,” said Williams. “It is earned by the sheriff’s department.”
At the top of Williams’ wish list is for to five Glock pistols.
“We are a little low on issue weapons,” said Williams. “I want to stockpile a few up.”
Through attrition from retirement and two officer involved shootings that required the confiscation of these weapons by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, the sheriff’s office is at least four service weapons short.
The sheriff’s office is also in need of four AR carbines, as well as gun locks and mounts for patrol vehicles.
In addition, Williams is seeking patrol cameras, a push bumper for a night shift patrol unit, a jailhouse defibrillator and body cameras.
Commissioners were unanimous in allowing Williams to utilize $21,697 of the Southern Justice payments.
They also obliged his request to use $18,000 of the monies earned toward the construction of a new fire training center for the county.
In other business, the commissioners were unanimous in their decision to enter into a 99-year lease with the Ashe County Sharing Center to use the former Jefferson Elementary School building. The lease can be renewed in 10-year increments.