The Fort Worth Police Department is “thankful beyond belief” for a substantial donation announced Tuesday of life-saving ballistic vests and equipment.
The department will receive 450 “active shooter” kits valued at $1,000 each from Shield616, a nonprofit created last year in Colorado that provides support to law enforcement agencies nationwide.
The Fort Worth City Council “approved with gratitude” the acceptance of the donation, Mayor Betsy Price said.
Assistant Police Chief Ed Kraus said the new vests, which officers will receive at a seminar on Nov. 15, are much heavier than the officers’ everyday body armor and will stop most rifle bullets, unlike the everyday vests.
“If our officers shot Friday night had been shot with a rifle, they would not have survived,” Kraus said, referring to the incident in Wedgwood where two officers were shot by a man who then killed himself.
Kraus said officers will use the equipment when responding to situations where they might confront gunfire. The donation helps the officers out “tremendously,” he said, because while this kind of protective equipment “has moved way up in our priorities,” the department doesn’t have the funding to buy it in the current budget.
“It helps [officers’] families knowing they have that added level of security in a dangerous job,” Kraus said. “It’s naive to say we don’t need it. It was proved very close to home that we actually do need it.”