EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The El Paso Police Department is setting the record straight about a shipment of tourniquets donated to the department by a well-known law enforcement advocate that had to be sent back after not meeting department standards.
Randy Sutton, a retired Las Vegas Metro Police Lieutenant and nationally known speaker and advocate for law enforcement contacted the El Paso Police Department several months ago to discuss donating a supply of tourniquets to the department from his Wounded Blue non-profit organization.
After discussion, the shipment was mailed to EPPD where they were expected to make a formal presentation regarding the donation on Monday, December 9. However, once EPPD received the shipment they realized the tourniquets were not the same model they train their officers with.
“Standardization of equipment is vital in critical situations as best practice. As such, the department was unable to formally accept this gracious donation of a different type of tourniquet and the shipment will be returned,” El Paso Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Kiki Carrillo said.
Although the donation between Wounded Blue and EPPD was an internal matter between the department and Sutton, local media was contacted Friday evening by Melissa Bailey, representative of the El Paso Police Wives Association. In the e-mail, Bailey accused City Manager Tommy Gonzalez of refusing the shipment.
“The City Manager knew nothing of this donation until Friday evening when he was accused of sending the donation back to the Wounded Blue,” Carrillo explained.
Sgt. Carrillo tells KTSM the shipment was not coordinated by any person outside of the police department. Carrillo said city leaders typically do not interfere with purchases or donations of this type, stating it would be equivalent of city leaders telling the police department which brand of pen to purchase.
It all came down to standardization, according to Carrillo.
The El Paso Police Department says they were incredibly grateful for the generous donation by Sutton and the Wounded Blue and hope to work with them in the future, however, receiving this type of equipment could potentially put lives in danger if an officer is not formally trained on how to use the device.