Mercer County Crime Stoppers donates utility trailer

Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014, 12:38 pm
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Press release submitted by Chuck Gysi

Mercer County Crime Stoppers donates utility trailer to Search and Rescue team

ALEDO, Ill. – Mercer County Sheriff's Search and Rescue has taken possession of a new utility trailer to better equip its team, thanks to a generous donation from Mercer County Crime Stoppers.

The 16-foot utility trailer recently was purchased with funds contributed by the Crime Stoppers organization. The team took possession of the trailer at its monthly meeting on Aug. 11 at the Aledo fire station. The trailer also has been labeled with the team's name for on-scene identification.

The trailer will allow the team to mobilize for search and rescue calls much easier by allowing equipment to be stored in a central location with faster deployment by the team throughout Mercer County and the surrounding area. Members of the team will furnish the trailer to carry search and rescue equipment and to allow the trailer to be used as part of base operations during search calls.

In addition to the trailer, Crime Stoppers also contributed funds to allow the search group to purchase a series of large plat maps for the entire county as well as contiguous areas to allow for more strategic search operations. The maps were color coded for highways and streams, allowing quick reference by search managers. The team also laminated the maps to protect the 3-foot-by-3-foot charts during inclement weather.

Mercer County Sheriff's Search and Rescue was founded in November 2012 and has been activated several times to search for missing persons. Another component of the group is that because it is an arm of the Sheriff's Department, members have been trained to assist in crime scene evidence search.

Since its inception, members have successfully raised funds to also equip the team with computer equipment to allow more efficient searches using Google Earth, as well as a portable two-way radio system that keeps search managers in clear communication with search teams in the field. The radio system also allows the team to interface with all public safety agencies in the county, as well offer interoperability no matter where they are requested for service.

Mercer County Sheriff's Search and Rescue has 28 trained members and about a dozen mounted units. The horse teams allow members to have a broader and higher view while employing the same techniques used by team members on foot.

For more information about the team, check their Facebook page at http://www.MercerSAR.org. Donations also are being sought to help equip the trailer and purchase other search tools. Donations may be made to Mercer County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, c/o Chuck Gysi, treasurer, PO Box 1, Aledo IL 61231-0001.


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