Sheriff to replenish non-lethal chemical munitions in county

Blast strips, smoke projectiles, smoke grenades and other chemicals classified as non-lethal chemical munitions are getting resupplied at the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department as part of County Board action Nov. 19.

The board on Nov. 19 approved Sheriff Brent Lindgren’s request for close to $1,765 to replace chemical munitions that are expiring. The munitions are needed in case officers need to enter a home and subdue a suspect, Lindgren told the board. Munitions such as flash bangs are the best option for this because they are the least lethal, Lindgren added. He said the materials being ordered now will be good for two to three years.

Commissioner Dave Oslin asked if it is in the sheriff’s budget. Lindgren answered that the money is under the budget heading of supply and not specifically as gas munitions.

Lindgren responded to questions after the meeting about the role of various chemical munitions in law enforcement.

“While it is not often that we need to deploy gas into a home, it is on standby in the event that other options fail to resolve a critical incident and deputies have to enter dangerous environments with specialized gear, gas mask and (with) paramedics to resolve various situations,” Lindgren responded.

“Having trained deputies, and having the needed supplies in the event they are needed, is for the safety of deputies and the community in the event they are needed. The community needs to know that the Sheriff’s Office must be prepared for unforeseen events and trains for situations to be ready.”

Lingren noted that colored smoke grenades, for example, are used to provide concealment for deputies in situations where there may not be protective cover.

Lindgren added that his department uses the expired munitions for training and practice so that the deputies are proficient in the delivery of chemical munitions when needed.