The Lincoln County sheriff’s office wants to upgrade the sights on its AR-15 style rifles, and is asking for donations.

Sheriff Jerome Kramer announced the fundraiser Monday at the county commissioner’s meeting, and he received a donation too. Chairman Joe Hewgley chipped in $100 on the spot.

Kramer hopes to raise $20,000, enough to equip 26 AR-15 style semi-automatic rifles with the new sights, which he said will greatly increase the accuracy of the rifles and the confidence of those using them.

“They make it much easier to get on-target quicker and with more confidence,” Kramer said.

The holographic view automatically displays a green dot on a target when the weapon is lined up. The shooter can see it readily, even with both eyes open.

Kramer said more criminals are armed – sometimes heavily armed – than ever before. He pointed to the case of Luke Lefever last summer, who shot at an officer, then sped from Gothenburg to Hershey with police in pursuit. Lefever was stopped by gunfire.

Lefever was not imprisoned due to his medical costs after he was shot, which included an amputated leg. Six months later, Lefever shot at officers again north of Grand Island.

Kramer said deputies didn’t even carry rifles 20 years ago, until Charles Moses wounded a deputy and a state trooper near Sutherland. At the time, deputies only carried handguns.

Both Lefever and Moses were suspected of being under the influence of methamphetamine.

These days, each of the sheriff’s patrol cars is equipped with an AR-15 style assault rifle as a precaution.

The holographic sights cost about $500 each, and the racks that hold the rifles must be modified too, adding around $7,000 to the costs. Kramer said the money is not in the sheriff’s office regular budget.

Eric Seacrest of the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation said he will create an account for donations, specifically earmarking them for the rifle sights, similar to what the foundation does for hike-bike trails and other public projects.

Commissioner Kent Weems said it is a great idea that will save deputies’ time when they are under fire.

“It’s a great program. I hope everyone donates,” Hewgley agreed as he handed Seacrest $100.

For more about the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation, or to donate, click HERE.


Special road bond

The commissioners authorized D.A. Davidson to prepare to sell bonds to pay for $3.5 million in special road projects this summer. The bonds will be ready to sell by May 1. The money will pay for 11 planned road projects, which were moved from the 6-year plan to the 1-year plan.