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Donations sought to upgrade police ballistic vests

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DENHAM SPRINGS - More than a week after six officers were shot in the line of duty during a targeted ambush attack in Baton Rouge, one group says it is imperative to increase the amount of protection offered to men and women in the line of duty.

Currently, it's a rule on the Denham Springs Police force that every officer be equipped with a uniform and ballistic vest, giving officers an extra layers of protection. In the last decade, the vests have made two saves in Denham Springs. Video from a 2006 shooting shows two officers being shot in the line of duty and later living to tell the tale. All thanks to the vest but after the shooting of July 17, some say more protection is required.

Joe Arceneaux, founder of Friends of Denham Springs Police, is one of those voices calling for added measures aimed at saving more "blue lives." The organization is now asking for donations to purchase more advanced vests with a ballistic steel core that would be worn over the uniforms of officers in Livingston and East Baton Rouge parishes.

"It's just another level that they would put on while responding to an active shooter call," says Arceneaux.\The vests go over the current vests would only be brought out in situations that are deemed to be high-risk, but the extra stopping power provided by the vests could be the difference between life and death in the event of another active shooter situation.

If you would like to donate funds to help purchase steel plate vests for LEOs in our community, you can help by donating to Friends of Denham Springs Police. 100 percent of your donation will be used to purchase vests for officers in Livingston Parish as well as East Baton Rouge. Each vest costs less than $220.

Donations can be sent to:

Friends of Denham Springs Police
PO Box 2138
Denham Springs, LA 70727

Write "VESTS" in the memo.

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