Sugar Land, TX – The Sugar Land Police Department will purchase an additional 27 “active-shooter” ballistic vests, adding to a planned acquisition intended to protect officers from criminals using high-powered rifles.
The purchase of the extra vests is being funded with an $11,475 donation from the Houston Federal Credit Union. The donation was approved by City Council on Sept. 20.
“Across the nation, tension remains high between citizens and law enforcement officers,” said Police Chief Doug Brinkley. “According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, the number of officers killed by gunfire in 2016 has increased by 75 percent, raising the total to 28. On July 8, 2016, this statistic rose drastically when a gunman killed five police officers in Dallas. More commonly, active shooters are using high-powered rifles, such as the AK47, to inflict injury.”
Sugar Land police currently use a standard vest approved by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ); however, it is not equipped to provide protection from high-powered rifles. The new ballistic vests will be worn on top of officers’ standard vests.
City Council previously approved the purchase of 52 “active-shooter” ballistic vests for each vehicle in SLPD’s patrol fleet. The donation from HFCU will ensure detectives are also protected while conducting investigations that require field work, surveillance and arrests.
“Due to CID’s hands-on involvement with the public, we determined that the additional protection provided by these ballistic vests is a necessity,” said Brinkley.