WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Thanks to some local donations, 13 graduating Wichita Falls Police officers will have new bulletproof vests and helmets.

Grace Church hosted a ceremony for the presentation of police gear Thursday night, August 31. The gear is from the nationwide nonprofit Shield616, which helps get quality protection to officers and connect the police departments with the community.

The equipment was bought from local donations directly to Shield616 and matched with officers in the Wichita Falls area.

WFPD Sergeant Charlie Eipper said this program does a good job of bringing officers and residents together.

“This is to make a connection with somebody and cultivate a real relationship, and it’s a mutual agreement, of course, and I don’t know of any of our officers who have just shut it down,” Sgt. Eipper said. “I think they really appreciate it. We appreciate it.”

The latest class of recruits will graduate from the Police Academy on Friday, September 9.