When a fellow police officer in neighboring West Virginia was shot three times by a suspected child pornographer, the first question that came to the Sheriff Mike Brown’s mind was; “why wasn’t he wearing a ballistic vest?”. After meeting with the now recuperated, Corporal Loudin of the West VA State Police, he explained to Sheriff Brown that he was just going to talk to the suspect as he had many times before. This suspect was never known to be violent but something snapped this time, and this young Trooper found himself crawling to his vehicle, ducking for cover.
The Sheriff started to do some research throughout the country. Did others have “mandatory wear” policies? What he found out was shocking. Many sheriff and police departments are grossly underfunded, they don’t even have ballistic vests to wear. Those that do have reported their vests to be 16, 18, 20 years old! The average life span of a ballistic vest is a mere 5 years.
This is how the “Protect the Protectors” project began. Every officer should have access to a vest; whether they are on the road, in the schools or in front of a computer.
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