Senator Eltife to spearhead campaign for rifle-proof vests for TPD officers

Sen. Kevin Eltife is pushing for an upgrade to Tyler police body armor.

TYLER - State Senator Kevin Eltife and the City of Tyler are joining forces to equip Tyler Police officers with special body armor vests.

In a press conference held Sept. 13, Etilfe expressed his concern over the safety of law enforcement offers, especially in light of the recent attacks in Dallas that struck so close to home. He said since the shooting, he's been repeatedly approached by citizens wanting to know how they can express support to the men and women in Tyler who daily put their lives on the line.

In response, Eltife spoke with Tyler PD officials and learned one major show of support would be to supply rifle-resistant vests as extra protection during active shooting and high risk events.

“The vests are not part of an officer’s daily uniform, but can be used when necessary as a layer of protection over existing soft body armor," Senator Eltife said. "These vests will provide officers with the highest level of protection.”

According to City of Tyler Mayor Martin Heines, the cost for the nearly 200 vests needed for all uniformed officers is $135,800. The city is providing half the cost, and donations and pledges will be requested to fund the remainder.

Senator Eltife pledged an initial donation of $20,000..

“We are honored that Senator Eltife has offered to spearhead this effort to make a tangible contribution to the safety of our officers as they protect our citizens,” said Heines.

A campaign committee and formal plans will be announced in a few days, as well as information regarding how and where people can make donations.

For more information or to contribute, please contact City of Tyler Interim Communications Manager Julie Goodgame at 903-531-1272 or City of Tyler Police Department Public Information Officer Don Martin at 903-531-1072.

A group called Longview Blue is working with several other organizations to buy similar ballistic vests for Longview police officers.
To help pay for the vests, local businesses are sponsoring officers. The group will also host a concert and Jeep show this weekend to raise funds. Click here for more information on the event.

(© 2016 KYTX)


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