Mississippi Blue lives matter bill, police vests

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 27, 2017

More than a week ago, representatives with the Picayune Police Department and the local organization Saving Police Lives showed the City Council one of 36 bulletproof vests purchased through donations collected from the community.

A local business owner spearheaded the effort. As donations poured in, the business owner said she was pleasantly surprised by the level of community support.

With those funds, the department purchased vests that are a bit different than the ones officers wear daily while on duty. Instead of using Kevlar to protect the wearer, these use steel plates that are suited for protecting the officers from high-powered rounds.

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While they are a bit heavier than the typical vest, and therefore not suited for daily use, should an active shooter situation arise in Picayune or the surrounding area, our local law enforcement officers are better equipped to respond to that call.

Across the nation, reports of officers being targeted by assailants with high-powered rifles have caused many law enforcement agencies to take notice.

Through the generosity of the community, Saving Police Lives was able to raise more than enough funding to allow the Picayune Police Department to purchase one of these vests for every enlisted officer, with some money to spare.

Though these vests won’t be used on a daily basis, or ideally ever, it’s reassuring to know that should a serious situation arise in the Picayune area, Picayune Police Department’s officers won’t have to respond without proper protection.

While legislation is being considered in the current session to increase the penalties to anyone intentionally targeting police officers, that is just one piece of the puzzle.

Imposing severe penalties for injuring or killing someone has not stopped those incidents from occurring.

While laws don’t stop bullets, steel plates will.