ECTOR COUNTY, TX (KWES) - It's almost time to bust out your shotguns to support a good cause. The 4th annual Bustin' for Badges clay shoot is right around the corner.
The clay shoot helps local law enforcement raise money for equipment that can save lives. The Ector County Sheriff's Office (ECSO) needs that money for laptops and bulletproof vests.
Each Ector County deputy is paired with a laptop. The technology seems simple but they help keep law enforcement safe.
"We can run a history on someone if we have them stopped. We can run that person's name, date of birth and find out if they have any prior history with weapons or whatever," said Sgt. Gary Duesler with the Ector County Sheriff's Office. "If it's a stolen vehicle, it allows that officer that edge of more knowledge than what he would previously have had."
This allows officers to call for back up if they feel they're in any kind of danger. Before the laptops came along, officers relied on dispatch for that information. The laptops also help law enforcement respond to active scenes quicker.
"It's a big difference now because before you had to wait for another officer to clear the radio, so you could call in," said Investigative Deputy Richard Brewer with ECSO. "Not only that, the call log for dispatch was so high and now dispatch can take their time and give us calls they need to and we can actually go on the computer and pull a call if dispatch is behind."
ECSO is also in need of bulletproof vests. For safety, the vests are only used for five years and each one is $700. The laptops and maintenance isn't cheap either, each laptop runs about $4,000.
Money raised at Bustin' for Badges helps local law enforcement year round and builds community relationships.
"This allows us to go out there and get on a one-on-one basis and get to know them," said Duesler. "You'd be surprised at the comradery that's developed over the years."
If you want to fire some shells and raise some money, the deadline to enter into the clay shoot is April 25.
The actual clay shoot will be held on Friday, April 28, 2017 at Windwalker Farms in Stanton.
If you want some more information on when and where it's happening, visit http://www.bustinforbadges.org.