Sixteen Officers Receive Armor Packages
The life of a police office comes with a lot of uncertainty. There’s a possibility of not coming home at the end of a shift.
“You’re going into an unknown situation, but if you let that fear hold you back somebody else is going to have to pick up the slack and go in and do the job so it’s ok to be scared, but you just have to use your training and your best judgment,” said Bemidji Police Department Officer Zach Ruport.
Sixteen officers and state troopers will have an extra sense of security as they do their job. The shield 616 Bemidji chapter presented armor packages during a presentation at Evangelical Covenant Church.
“We want to provide local law enforcement with enhanced gear specifically against those rifle threats that you commonly see used in an active shooter situation,”Jake Skifstad, Shield 616 president and founder. “So we want to make sure that if they’re out there protecting us that they have the right protection to keep them safe while doing their job.
Shield 616 wants every person in police uniform to have advanced active shooter gear. They also want to act as a support group by offering daily prayers to officers and their families.
“They’re committing themselves to praying for the officers and we think that’s important just for that spiritual protection too,” said Denae Alamano, Bemidji Region Head Volunteer.
Officer Zach Ruport has been with the Bemidji Police Department for three years. He says working in his hometown has been the most rewarding part. Families present for tonight’s presentation witnessed firsthand what their loved ones will use.
“It’s awesome having that extra support just besides your family, to have support from within the community it makes the job so much more worth it,” said Ruport.
Each kit includes a ballistic vest and helmet, monocular, and level armor. The thousand dollar kits are made possible by donations and sponsorship from the community. They vary from the traditional bulletproof vest.
“Level 4 ceramic sappy plate. Essentially it’s meant to stop multi-hit rifle rounds where as the normal typical body armor that we wear is Level 3A and it’s rated for 12 gauge slugs and pistol rounds.
So far 40 officers have received the kits and Shield 616 hopes to provide all officers with them.