Program helps town, police force save tax dollars

AYNOR, SC (WMBF) - Tight budgets has local towns coming up with creative ways to make the money that helps keep you safe.

Behind Aynor's Town Hall, you'll find a row of parked military vehicles. But this is only a peek into the Law Enforcement Support Office Program, or LESO, that helps equip local police departments.

Aynor is the first town in Horry County to participate in LESO. The program gives excess equipment to help with law enforcement. Military equipment like a five ton cargo truck, military Humvees, 36 laptops, don't come cheap.

So far the Town of Aynor has saved a quarter of a million dollars worth of equipment, and Project Director Tony Godsey says it's all money off the taxpayer's bill.

"It actually fills a void with our budget shortfall," said Godsey. "What we're able to do is we're able to get equipment for law enforcement to actually help out with law enforcement."

The LESO program really helps, as the money and equipment goes straight to the police department. It especially comes in handy with smaller towns like Aynor, which only has 600 taxpaying citizens, yet thousands drive through every day. The goal is to equip officers to handle any situation - including drug raids, natural disasters, and everyday patrols.

People who spend time in Aynor say programs like this are crucial to protect the community.

"I think it's wonderful because we need it," said Elouise King. "You never know when we'll have a disaster or a bad hurricane and people have it really bad. So I think it's a good idea."

The LESO program has been used in Marion and Dillon, but Aynor has been involved for the past year.

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