After watching the evening news together in their living room one night, Henderson couple Billy and Virginia Irwin decided something needed to happen to protect the public servants of Rusk County.
The Irwins have lived in Rusk County since 1954 and wanted to give back to their community in a way to benefit everyone.
"We've made our life here in Rusk County, and we truly wanted to give back," Virginia Irwin said. "After watching the news that night, we felt a strong urge to find a way to help protect our own public servants."
The news broadcast detailed how law enforcement agencies in other areas were equipping their officers with body cameras, and the Irwins wondered what was being done in Rusk County.
After careful consideration and a conversation at a local chamber of commerce meeting with the Sgt. David Roberts of the Rusk County Sheriff's Office, Dr. Irwin decided to donate enough money to equip all on-duty officers with a chest clip body camera. The process took several months, but after pulling money from the budgets from each of the Irwin family's companies, the family made a $10,570 donation to the Rusk County Sheriff's Office.
"We are all ecstatic about the new body cameras," said Sgt. Roberts. "The camera is about half the size of a GoPro video camera, maybe even smaller, and it has a chest clip where it will lay mid chest to view everything we see in front of us."
The four Irwin family companies that donated to the Rusk County Sheriff's Office are Autumn Leaves Nursing and Rehabilitation, Angel Care Hospice, Advancing At Home Health Care, and Arbor Place Assisted Living. Sgt. Roberts said his officers are all prepared and ready to begin wearing the cameras, which are expected to arrive within the next three weeks.
Mrs. Irwin said she hopes their donation will encourage other community-minded people to think about giving back to those who give somuch to the community.