By Dominic Garcia
GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – First responders from four different agencies received some much-needed body armor Thursday night. The event was put on by the nonprofit Shield 616 and was held at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.
Twenty officers from the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office, Lakeside PD, Edgewater PD, and Mountain View PD were all on the receiving end. They received a kit that included a vest, helmet, rifle rated armor, and a gunshot wound trauma kit.
“For any active-shooter situation we get into, this is paramount for us,” said Edgewater PD officer Bob Brink.
In the field most officers wear what’s called a soft vest. It’s an important safety tool but can’t protect against high powered firearms. These new armor plates can absorb a gunshot from a rifle. This type of equipment can cost thousands of dollars.
“Over the years officers have purchased them themselves but it’s really taken a burden on their income,” Brink told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.
SHIELD616 founder Jake Skifstad says the organization was formed with the ‘peace officer on patrol’ in mind. The goal of SHIELD616 is to equip every first responder with necessary, advanced active shooter/crowd control gear. They also aim to provide a support group for that first responder who will pray for the first responder and his or her family on a daily basis and shower the first responder with support and encouragement throughout the year.
Sarah Franz is a dispatch supervisor with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and her husband is a deputy. She said this gift will help give her peace of mind when he’s out on duty.
“I was very excited for him to get that…they put their lives in danger without question for complete strangers.”