Orem Police Department Adds Protection For Officers

News

OREM (ABC4 Utah News) – July 7th in Dallas: As civilians flee the gunfire, police officer run toward it. Five of them are killed and seven more are wounded. That incident was sandwiched in between a terrorist mass shooting in Orlando and the murder of three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Now, here in Utah, Orem Police have new ceramic plated vests that would help in those types of worst case scenario.

On Tuesday, Orem PD Lieutenant Craig Martinez displayed one of the 4-A rated vests.

“This one is designed to stop multiple rifle rounds,” Lt. Martinez said.

Their officers are also getting new ballistic helmets made of Kevlar.

“This the Chief ordered after the Orlando shooting when there was an officer out there that was hit in the helmet,” Lt. Martinez said. “And actually saved his life.”

Lt. Martinez says that every officer will now have one of these vests and one of these helmets in the trunk of their patrol vehicle. They’re not for everyday wear and that’s probably a good thing. The vest weighs over 20 pounds and the helmet adds another 5.

“You’re not going to see officers out of traffic stops, on retail theft calls wearing any of this type of gear,” Lt. Martinez said. “But we would rather have it and never need it than need it and not have it and need it.”

Each vest costs $400 and the helmets are $300 apiece. Multiply that by the 85 officers and the total comes to $59,500 but Lt. Martinez says you can’t put a price tag on public safety.

“If we’re safe hopefully we can keep the public safe,” Lt. Martinez said. “If we have the ability to chase after someone that’s say, armed with a rifle, we now, our officers will now have the tools available to stay in the fight so to speak.”

The Orem PD already require mandatory lighter bulletproof vest rule for all officers on duty. These ceramic plated vests and Kevlar helmets will provide an added layer of protection to those.

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