10-43: Be Advised...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief
The "Armor of God Project" sends used vests to officers in need
Our friend, PoliceOne Columnist Travis Yates, recently let us know about a project we think our members will want to hear about. The “Armor of God Project” enables American law enforcement officers to donate their used ballistic armor for use by police officers in other countries who do not have a ballistic vest to protect them.
Begun in 2008 by Lieutenant Clint Reck of the Muscle Shoals (Ala.) Police Department, the organization is presently working with the Philippine National Police and reportedly has made contact with agencies in Mexico and Africa that are in need of vests.
According to the organization’s Web site, Lieutenant Reck had been approached by someone associated with the Philippine National Police Department in Manila about sending used ballistic vests to that agency. Reck partnered with Parkview Baptist Church (Ten-Four Ministries and Wives Behind The Badge have since joined the team) and soon thereafter sent two dozen used vests to the Philippine National Police. One day after receiving the vests, a high-ranking Philippine Officer chased a stolen car to a dead end road and was shot point blank in the chest by the suspect. The vest saved the life of the officer.
The issue of liability is addressed through some paperwork signed by both the officer making the donation and the officer accepting the used vest. The donating officer is apparently “rendered harmless in any future litigation” because on the other side of the transaction, a release form must be “signed by the recipient of the vest acknowledging that the vest is used and not guaranteed.”
The Web site for the “Armor of God Project” states that “there are many locations in the United States that are in need as well,” and says also that it will allow officers who donate their vests to designate where it goes.
For officers in the U.S. who do not have a vest and wish to participate in the program, the organization offers a form on which you enter your waist and chest size and when a suitable vest is found, it will be sent to you.
If you’re considering making an upgrade to your own armor and have an interest in donating your vest to someone who might need it, you can check out the program for yourself and determine if it is something you would like to participate in.