HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Every day, police officers risk their lives protecting our neighborhoods, but keeping us safe means they have to stay safe.
The High Point Community Foundation is making sure police can afford equipment that, in the long run, is priceless.
The High Point Police Department needs to upgrade its heavy armor/heavy ballistics vests for its vice narcotics and tactical (SWAT) teams.
Travis Stroud, assistant chief of police, says the department needs approximately 33 vests because the current ones are about to expire.
The department wants to invest in a style that provides the same ballistic protections while offering a more functional design.
“Now we're looking to purchase a rifle plate that goes with it that will sit up inside the vests and these are designed to stop rifle rounds from certain distances,” Stroud said.
“They will have to wear these vests I imagine it could be 10 minutes, it could be 10 hours, it could be 20 hours, it depends on the situation that they’re out on. We want to make sure that they have the equipment that allows them to function at that high capacity,” he said.
Stroud estimates that the vests could cost around $75,000 in total.
The police department applied for assistance through The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program; however, it still needed additional funding.
The department reached out to the High Point Community Foundation and the organization has committed to covering the difference.
“I think they realize and they recognize the importance these pieces of equipment are because ultimately it's going to save lives,” he said.
Stroud says the organization has been a great partner to the police department over the years and that he’s thankful for the relationship.