The Stark County Sheriff's Office received $30,000 courtesy of the Marathon Petroleum Company on Friday in a ceremony honoring the service of law enforcement. Sheriff Corey Lee and Lieutenant Eldon Mehrer were in attendance, and both said the money would benefit the agency as they procure much needed upgrades for equipment.

During the award presentation Marathon Petroleum representatives said Marathon and The Marathon Petroleum Foundation were committed to collaborating with local stakeholders to invest in organizations and initiates that make a positive, meaningful impact in communities where they operate.

Mehrer highlighted the benefit of having entities like Marathon continue to show a dedication to the communities they call home.

"We’re extremely gratified about the contribution that we’ve been able to receive," he said. "Working in partnership with companies within our community is always a goal that the sheriff’s department has and we just feel very grateful that we’ve been able to receive the grant."

According to the department, the funds are intended to help upgrade in-car mobile camera equipment, portable radios and upgrade the dated camera systems deployed by the department to an entirely new digital system.

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Lee said the upgraded systems are needed now more than ever due to the current climate surrounding law enforcement that is prevalent in society.

"It’s especially important at this point in society and I think we all see what’s going on right now, anything we can do to capture every bit and piece of what we’re doing I think the public wants to see that," he said. "We need to be held accountable for what we’re doing out there in the streets and this is just another piece to make that happen."

Both Lee and Mehrer agreed that the contribution from Marathon would go a long way in maintaining community relations and providing the department with a means to keep county and her residents safe.

"Marathon has always been a big supporter of the communities that they set up camp in," Lee said. "It’s pretty cool. It’s a nice feeling knowing that they’re willing to help us out."

Despite the difficult financial times faced by companies across the nation, Mehrer credited Marathon and other community companies that despite the hardships have continued to support their local communities.

"It’s great to see that they can do what they can do, especially in these times. They really are a benefit to Stark County and the Sheriff’s Office," he said.