Milford Authorizes Purchase of New Bullet Resistant Vests - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Milford Authorizes Purchase of New Bullet Resistant Vests

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MILFORD, Del.- On Saturday afternoon, an armed man opened fire on a police vehicle in New York City, killing two officers. This -- based on the shooters social media posts -- was in response to a number of recent police-involved deaths, including those of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Now, in the light of Saturday's shooting, there is a renewed focus on officer safety, including on Delmarva.

"It really sickens us to know someone has these feelings that they just want to kill a police officer," said Lt. Edward Huey of the Milford Police Department. "It's a job. It's a career field that we go into. It's not necessarily who we are. It's what we do."

With this recent incident in mind, Huey said that he is comforted by the fact that the city took recent action to improve officer safety. At their December 8 meeting, Milford City Council authorized the purchase of 33 new bullet resistant vests for every single officer. These vests are not yet in action, but will be a newer vest, capable of protecting officers from more advanced weaponry. 

The total cost for the vests will be in between $30,000 and $31,000, but Huey told WBOC that this is a small price to pay to potentially save a life. 

"I don't know how you can put a value on an officer being able to go back home to see his wife and kids every evening," he said. "To go to work and to then come back in the same condition they left him." 

Resident Mary Sharp said she wished the city could avoid such a costly expense, but said events like that in New York demonstrate the need. 

"In an ideal world, we wouldn't have to worry about people," Sharp said. "But it's not an ideal world." 

Huey said a portion of the funding for the vests will come from both Sussex and Kent Counties. The department is also exploring other possible grants to cover the expense.

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