WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Patrol officers in the Wichita Falls PD are getting some new equipment thanks to generous community members.
They gave dozens of officers rifle-rated ballistic vests costing more than $200,000.
Since the city can’t always budget for top-grade equipment like this, police chief Manuel Borrego said he is proud to be in a community that supports its law enforcement.
Currently, patrol officers in the Wichita Falls Police Department have vests that protect them from handgun bullets. But with the help of nonprofit Shield 616, now 105 officers will be protected from rifles as well.
“We really needed the protection against rifle fire so our officers can get in there and protect our citizens that are being shot and killed by somebody that may be a little deranged out there with a rifle,” Borrego said.
The Dillard Family Foundation, the Bridwell Foundation and the Hundred Club of Wichita Falls raised $270,000 to purchase the equipment for these officers. Equipment that would be tough for the city to budget for.
“We see what law enforcement is going through these days. We look at it as this is our opportunity to come alongside provide support, appreciation, and prayer for the individual officers for the community that you serve,” The Hundred of Wichita Falls President Tim Short said.
“It’s a lot of money. We’ve always lived in a community that has supported our police department and we love our citizens. We love our community and certainly, we’re gonna do the best we can to protect everybody in our community,” Borrego said.
The vests won’t stop with these officers.
“Our goal is to do the whole police department, all the way up to the chief. We’ve been able to do the patrol division, the men and women we see out there in the police cars but we still have a lot more officers that could benefit from this gear. So we’re going to continue the fundraising effort and eventually, we’ll get to the point where we’re able to give the chief his and have the whole department done,” President and Founder Shield 616 Jeff Skidstaf said.
Gifting officers with gear that will benefit their lives and the lives of those they will save in the future.
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