FLORENCE, Colo. – Officers with Florence Police Department are the latest batch of officers to be outfitted with heavy duty Shield 616 vests.
Florence Police Officers gathered at First United Methodist Church on Sunday to officially accept their new shield 616 gear sets, which their community donated.
The company’s founder, Jake Skifsted, spoke to the crowd about why this equipment is necessary.
“We all see what law enforcement is going up against,” he said.
“We all see this hostility being directed towards law enforcement, from our largest agencies all the way down to our smallest agencies.”
The project started a year ago when Chief of Police Michael DeLaurentis asked the church community to help equip his 13 full-time officers.
“We are seeing more calls, where it’s taking multiple officers, more violence towards police,” he explained.
“And more violence in general. I knew this is something we had to have.”
And they stepped up to the challenge.
“They really rallied and they rallied quickly,” Skifsted said.
From men and women’s clubs to children in Vacation Bible Group, these folks helped make this day possible.
“To be able to get something new, something that’s high-end, knowing that it is going to 100 percent protect each of their men and women,” added Skifsted.
The high-end gear is similar to what swat teams use. The whole kit includes a vest, which comes with two rifle rated armor plates on the front and the back, a ballistic helmet, and a gunshot wound trauma kit which also goes in the back.
After mass, officers took the time to get familiarized with the gear, the gear that could one day prove to be life-saving…
“Wear your protection, be safe, take that extra minute, throw your gear on and then go home to your family at night, that’s my goal,” said DeLaurentis.
Shield 616 is based out of Colorado Springs. They are in 17 different states across the country now.
If you’d like to donate to the organization, you can do so here.