Runners from around the area compete in SCSO Scorpion 5k to benefit SWAT team

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office hosted the annual Scorpion 5k on Sunday to raise money for new SWAT team gear.

Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said in previous years they’ve raised money for vests, and this year, there’s more items on the list.

“These vests are like 5 to 6,000 a piece, so we’ve got them equipped with those,” Cassidy said. “Now, we’re looking at helmets, and of course out-of-town training these guys train, and they can’t train enough.”

Cassidy said it’s events like this one that keep his office running.

“We live off donations,” Cassidy said. “You know, our budget goes to cars and gas and food for the inmates and all kinds of other stuff.”

Claude Grindstaff was one of dozens of runners that came out on Sunday.

“Obviously you know these people do a lot,” Grindstaff said. “It’s helping the cause. I feel like it’s the least we can do.”

Officers from departments across the Tri-Cities also came to support. Greeneville Police Officer David Shell said community events like this one are important.

“Unfortunately people hate us just because of the uniform we’re wearing, it’s not because of the person you are, it’s because of what we wear and what it signifies,” Shell said. “This is an opportunity for people to get out and meet in a non-threatening way and you to realize officers are just normal people.”

Normal people– who are sometimes put into scary situations.

“They go into high-risk warrants, you know hostage situations all kinds of scary stuff,” Cassidy said. “It’s extremely important to have a SWAT team and not only have a SWAT team but have them efficiently and effectively equipped so they can do their job.”

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