Joe Wyatt
Published January 16, 2018

Officers of the Amarillo College Police Department will be better protected than ever before thanks to an award of $8,745 the College recently received from the state of Texas to purchase rifle-resistant vests.

BulletproofVestsGov. Greg Abbott announced Jan. 9 that hundreds of law-enforcement agencies across the state will share in a $23 million grant created last year by legislators in response to an incident in which five Dallas police officers were slain.

The funds are intended solely to equip officers with body armor that can withstand gunfire from high-powered automatic weapons.

ACPD Chief Stephanie Birkenfeld says her department applied for and received funding to cover the cost of 11 new rifle-resistant vests, matching the number of officers employed by the College.

AC police already are equipped with bulletproof vests and wear them daily; however, the rifle-resistant vests offer maximum protection and therefore represent an enormous safety upgrade.

“This will greatly enhance the safety of our entire department,” Birkenfeld said. “We appreciate it. If the worst day ever does come to AC, now we’ll at least have the best-possible equipment to deal with it from a preparedness standpoint.”

ACPD will submit a purchase order for its new protective wear almost immediately, and Birkenfeld said she expects the vests to arrive at the College within the next four to six weeks.