Grant allows SDPD to purchase high-tech body armor - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Grant allows SDPD to purchase high-tech body armor

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A new grant will help the San Diego Police Department better protect their officers in the line of duty with high-tech, bullet proof vests.

San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman said the grant will allow her department to outfit many more officers who put their lives on the line every day.

The ballistic vets will allow officers to get into high risk situations safely.

Until recently, only a handful of officers from the San Diego Police Department had access to the state of the art body armor.

“They are there to save lives and they can’t do that if their lives are in jeopardy. This means so much to our police department,” said Scott Wahl, SDPD.

A grant by the Midway Foundation allowed the SDPD to buy 35 additional high tech vests. The vests will go on the top of their existing soft ballistic ones when needed.

The chief said the loss of Officer JD de Guzman highlighted the need.

“When our police officers went into that dark canyon and knew the suspect was armed and had already killed a police officer they didn't hesitate and they went into that dark canyon they didn't quite have the additional equipment that they needed,” said Zimmerman.

The two levels of protection will be a game changer but the reason are not worn on a daily basis is because of how much it weights. “It’s a heavy piece of equipment,” said Wahl.

Police Chief Zimmerman said public safety is a shared responsibility and takes all of us. She said the grant will provide the added safety her officers need.

The USS Midway Foundation handed out $250,000 last year, and hopes to eventually raise its total giving to $1 million annually.

SDPD received $25,000. 

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