Charlotte County Sheriff answers AG’s request, donates equipment

Charlotte County Sheriff Royal Freeman is answering the Virginia Attorney General’s request. In October, Virginia AG Jason Miyares asked all sheriffs in Virginia to donate body armor or other tactical equipment, which he will in turn send to the Israeli Defense Force. 

“The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is donating expired ballistic vests, to be given to the Israeli military,” Freeman said in a statement. 

Freeman added the items were packed up on Oct. 31 and delivered to the attorney general’s office in Richmond. Later today, on Nov. 1, Miyares and his staff will pack equipment received from 23 sheriffs in Virginia, loading it up into a truck to be taken to New York City. Then the material will be flown to Israel. To date, the donations include 800 vests, 50 helmets and 75 protective plates. 

The request came back on Oct. 17, as Miyares said he wanted to do something in the wake of the Hamas attacks of Oct. 7. 

“I am shocked and grieved by the senseless terrorist attacks on Israel by the Hamas terrorist organization,” Miyares said in a statement. “The loss of innocent life and disregard for human rights is painfully tragic to see.” 

Miyares said he’s seen multiple groups offering support or humanitarian relief. What he wanted to do was something along the same lines, but given to a different group. 

“My office is coordinating efforts to collect surplus body armor, protective gear, and tactical equipment from local law enforcement departments that want to help the Israel Defense Forces fight terrorism in Israel and Palestine,” Miyares said in the letter. “If you have excess law enforcement protective equipment, my office will collect them and ship it to the Israel Defense Forces.”

Beyond Charlotte County sheriff, others can’t contribute

Charlotte was the only department in the region that contributed to the donation. Lunenburg, Prince Edward, Buckingham and Cumberland sheriffs departments all declined to take part, according to the AG’s office. 

Miyares said he recognized some departments couldn’t contribute. 

“While I’m aware that some police departments are stretched for resources, there are many departments that have expired equipment (that is) required to be donated or discarded,” Miyares wrote. “During my trip to Israel earlier this year, I met women and men who serve in the Israel Defense Forces who are willing to give their lives to maintain peace in this region of the world. They are committed to democracy and the public safety of their land, and I am proud to stand with them during this difficult time.”