Friday, November 4, 2011
Did you know that many police officers working in the U.S. do so without the benefit of ballistic armor? Why? Often, it’s because their agency can’t afford it.
For many, this state of affairs is maddening. Not only is it wrong that officers should go without this vital protection—it’s actually much more expensive in the long run, according to a Rand Corporation study. Senior Physical Scientist Tom LaTourrette found that it would cost twice as much to not equip officers with ballistic vests than it would to equip them.
Thankfully, three organizations are working together to remedy this situation.
“We think it’s critically important to target the three most preventable causes of death—the failure to wear vests, the failure to wear seatbelts and heart attacks,” says Chris Cosgriff, founder and executive director of the Officer Down Memorial Page (www.ODMP.org). “The failure to wear vests is linked to not having one available to them. Because of ODMP’s visibility among law enforcement, we’re teaming up with the Armor of God and Fallen Officers Remembered organizations to make armor available to those who need it.”
The Armor of God project, an outreach of Ten-Four Ministries, has provided more than 2,100 vests to officers since its inception, according to Capt. Travis Yates, the project’s director. The group, which collects and distributes used and surplus vests to agencies and individual officers who need them, has two documented saves to its credit.
Fallen Officers Remembered was founded by sisters Jaclyn and Gina Pocceschi after their brother Officer Rodney Pocceshi was murdered in the line of duty. The group raises funds through their Adopt-a-Cop/Canine program and then uses these funds to purchase vests for officers in need.