55 ballistic vests donated to Opelousas Police Department
OPELOUSAS - Police in Opelousas are to be presented with 55 brand new ballistic vests after the department received a $35,000 donation from a local businessman.
Now, every officer on the Opelousas Police force will be equipped with one of the vests, which many see as increasingly indispensable in the wake of attacks on police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge last month.
The donation for the vests came from Bob Giles, owner of Giles automotive.
“We cannot show enough gratitude to Bob Giles. With the rash of police shootings around the country these bullet proof vests could not have arrived at a better time,” said OPD Chief Donald Thompson.
More than 30 law enforcement officers have died by gunfire in the line of duty this year alone in the United States. Five officers were killed in Dallas, three in Baton Rouge, one in Kansas City and an officer died in San Diego in the most recent deadly attack.
With police on high alert as they respond to a variety of stressful situations, law enforcement officials feel confident that the addition of the ballistic vests to the required load-out for officers in the field can only have a positive benefit.
“I made the donation to help save the lives of our local heroes and help them feel more secure when they go out to do their job protecting our community. The arrival of the bulletproof vests came at a much needed time,” Bob Giles said.
Donations have poured in in support of officers across the country as the effect of the attacks has rippled through communities, making residents more aware of just how often law enforcement officers put their lives on the line in service.
Locally, nearly $400,000 has been raised to go to the families of Baton Rouge officers killed in the July 17 ambush attack at an Airline Highway business.