Nonprofit raising money to install bullet-resistant glass on Brazos County patrol vehicles
Operation Safe Shield is holding a big fundraiser at the Brazos County Expo on April 14
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - A local nonprofit is raising money to get bullet-resistant glass installed on the patrol vehicles of each law enforcement agency in Brazos County.
The nonprofit is called Operation Safe Shield, and board member Marilyn Moore says communities need to help protect the law enforcement officers who have no hesitation to protect them on a daily basis.
“We were not aware that our officers do not have bulletproof windshields in their cars, and we want to make sure that we take care of them because they take such good care of us,” Moore said. “It’s some new technology, and it will protect the officers from the windshields and the side glass all the way down to the doors. We got with a company called ATEK has the technology.”
“What we’ve seen recently is these attacks on officers in their vehicles,” Brazos County Sheriff Wayne Dicky said. “We’ve seen officers shot through the windshield or shot through the side glass recently. It’s important that we give these officers the protection they need to do their jobs.”
Corporal Cpl. Charles Galloway with the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office was shot through the windshield of his patrol car during a traffic stop Sunday morning. Last year, DPS Trooper Chad Walker was also shot and killed through is windshield in Mexia, while DPS Trooper Juan Tovar was shot after his vehicle was struck by 13 bullets while trying to apprehend the Kent Moore Cabinets shooting suspect in Grimes County.
“Another unique feature of this ballistic material is that it will stop rounds from coming into the vehicle, but it still allows the officer to return fire and be able to protect themselves,” Dicky said. “Historically, the ability to make vehicle glass ballistic was just too heavy and expensive, but this new technology makes it possible to provide some bullet resistance to these vehicles with a really low weight.”
The Texas Legislature passed SB 2222 last year to fund this equipment for state troopers, but not local agencies. That’s why Operation Safe Shield is hosting a big fundraiser at the Brazos Valley Expo on April 14 at 6 p.m. Moore says it will consist of a steak dinner, live entertainment, a raffle, and a live and silent auction.
“Individual tickets are $150 for the event, and our goal is to raise about $1.5 million. We have sponsorships available anywhere from $1,500 to $20,000. We’re also taking auction items if any local businesses want to donate something,” Moore said. “It’s a spinoff from our Backing the Badge that we do every year where we feed all the first responders in Brazos County and the surrounding counties.”
Moore says it costs about $8,000 per car to install the bullet-resistant glass. Their fundraising goal will cover all the law enforcement vehicles serving Brazos County, but any funds beyond that will be used for law enforcement agencies serving the rest of the Brazos Valley. She says donations can be made to help a specific county.
“They can make that donation and earmark it for their county, and we’ll be glad to start some seed money for those other counties,” Moore said.
There will also be a number of other events in April supporting the Brazos Valley’s law enforcement officers as part of Law Enforcement Appreciation Month. Allen Academy is hosting a first responders appreciation breakfast on April 1, and the Allen Academy Tonkaway Ranch Sporting Clay Shoot & Dinner will benefit Backing The Badge on April 30. More information on both of these events, and others, will be forthcoming.
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