Kearney, Neb. (KSNB) - Kearney is protecting their protectors.
Kearney residents collect funds to give police officers and deputies life saving tactical gear.
The Kearney Action Committee of Shield 616 gave out 27 rifle-rated ballistic gear to Kearney Police Officers and Buffalo County Deputies.
"We go out everyday knowing that we do a dangerous job," said Sergeant Brad Hall, Buffalo County Sheriff's Dept.
While the danger of the job can't be lessened, the possibility of an officer or deputy being hurt, can be.
"We provided one plate for the front, one plate for the back, the carrier, a ballistic carrier, a ballistic helmet and a wound trauma kit. In the event that they do respond to a mass casualty situation they not only have something they can treat themselves with but also a wounded partner or civilian that was caught in the crossfire," said Bill Luke, Shield 616.
Each set of rifle-rated ballistic gear costs $1,500 and it should be replaced every five years, something local budgets just can't afford. This is why people in Kearney stepped up to help out.
"There is not always a guarantee that you are going to come home to your family. It's awesome knowing that we have a community that supports us and is willing to make the donation to make this possible," adds Sgt. Hall.
What makes this protective gear so unique is that is was created by street cops. Working the streets they were able to design equipment specifically needed to protect themselves and others.
Sgt. Hall adds, "When we have the ballistic vest, the helmet, the tools that we need to do our job more safely, that is very comforting to us."
The Kearney Action Committee of Shield 616 isn't done. Their goal is to equip every law enforcement officer in Kearney with this life-saving equipment.
If you want to donate just go to Shield.org. and select Kearney as your agency of choice.