|Central Texas police agencies target more rifle-resistant vests
A McLennan County police agency is donating equipment which could potentially save the lives of officers in another small department about 20 miles away.To get more news about bulletproof zone customer service, you can visit bulletproofboxs.com official website.
"Our daily vests won't stop a rifle round--the ballistic vest that we donated to them will," said Beverly Hills Police Chief Thomas Schmidt. "I just figured: pay it forward."
Last week, Beverly Hills PD donated eight ballistic plates and carriers to the West Police Department.
"Even though we're a small department we're located on a major interstate, you never know when we have to go to an active shooter or standoff," said West Police Chief Darryl Barton. "Literally, down the road, it might save one of my officers lives."The thicker, heavier ceramic plates protect against rifles and will not replace the soft, ballistic vests officers were daily, but will instead be worn in a carrier that goes on top, complimenting them during high-risk incidents.
"It's not about comfort, it's about survivability, it protects your vital organs," said Barton. "The ceramic will repel rifle rounds to where if we're in an active shooter situation, not only does he have this but he has his regular bullet-proof vest under that."
In an active shooter situation, a ballistic vest is one of the first lines of defense for police, however, the equipment isn't cheap, and not every agency can afford to give its officers a second layer of defense.The agency recently purchased new, two-in-one vests which allow for the soft and hard plates to be together in one carrier.
"This way we don't have to switch out anything," said Schmidt. "We've got it already on us."
The all-in-one vest packages cost about $2,200 each, and the steel plates never expire, Schmidt says.
He says he had to some some finagling, but reappropriated funds for a new patrol car to purchase the eight new vests.Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin did something similar last year by reallocating unused budget funds to buy 30 ballistic plates and carriers for every certified peace officer in his agency.
Devlin says he'd been looking into outfitting the department with the additional vests, which are more rifle-resistant, for years, however, having one of his officers shot last year pushed him over the edge.
"We see it every day, it's happening more and more," said Devlin. "We're encountering a lot more violence than we have over the last 25 years for sure, and the weapons are getting bigger, and they're getting faster, and they're getting stronger, and that's the problem."