Baton Rouge constable's office to receive donation of new bulletproof vests
BATON ROUGE - When members of law enforcement involve themselves in potentially life-threatening situations with the goal of protecting the public, it's critical that their protective gear be up-to-date and in working condition.
According to The Advocate, this very issue became an area of concern to Terrica Williams, who was elected as Baton Rouge's Constable in 2019.
It didn't take long for Williams to notice that her deputies were working with outdated equipment, including bulletproof vests that would expire in a couple of years.
Williams says that as she took action to acquire appropriate gear, it became clear that the small Baton Rouge law enforcement agency she was in charge of had a history of being overlooked.
This is where the recently formed Baton Rouge Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Foundation, stepped in to help.
The foundation, which officially launched in October of this year, consists of a partnership between various Baton Rouge law enforcement agencies and the area's major universities. These partners collaborate on initiatives that promote community unity and support crime-fighting efforts in the Capital City.
One of the Foundation's very first initiatives, announced Monday (Dec. 21) directly impacts the Constable's Office; in a show of support to local law enforcement, it plans to provide the constable's office with new vests for its 46 officers.
The Advocate explains that some of the vests will be purchased by the organization itself and others will be donated. The Foundation expects to purchase 16 brand new vests with donated funds, while the remaining 30 vests will be supplied by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office offered to donate another 30 used vests.
The donation is not cheap, with each vest clocking in about $1500 each, according to Constable Williams.
Williams and her deputies, appreciative of the donation and eager to receive it, expect the much-needed supplies to arrive in the coming weeks.
The new gear will come in handy as she and her team carry out their duties, which include, providing security for Baton Rouge City Court, running the city jail and handling evictions, garnishments and misdemeanor warrants.
Williams noted that there are times when she and her deputies face potentially dangerous situations. According to Williams, people sometimes react poorly when being served an eviction notice or warrant, and when that happens adequate protective equipment is essential.
She expressed her thanks to the Foundation during a City Hall press conference on Monday, saying, "I am overwhelmed and overjoyed to know these agencies would come together to make sure the constable's office has what we need. It means a lot."
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