Farmersville Police Sgt. Korey Redding said he once responded to a police emergency in Princeton in which he was the only officer on the scene who wasn’t wearing a protective helmet.
“I had to stand behind my shield,” Redding told the Farmersville Rotary Club at its Tuesday, July 11, meeting.
Because of the express need for this type of equipment, the police department is seeking to rectify that shortcoming in the equipment it provides its officers by raising funds to purchase 10 Kevlar helmets, which will be custom fitted for every officer on the force.
The sergeant joined Jim Fleming, founder of Citizens Assisting Farmersville Police (CAFP), a nonprofit, in delivering the message to the Rotary Club with a goal to outfit the department with state-of-the-art protective equipment.
Redding, a 10-year veteran of the Farmersville Police Department, said the CAFP is seeking to raise about $6,000.
City finance director Daphne Hamlin said that the city has received no requests to budget the money for the helmets.
“To the best of my recollection,” Hamlin said, “no one requested to include the helmets in the city budget.” Assistant City Manager Mike Sullivan, offered a bit more detail, explaining that Fleming approached the city and asked if CAFP could “take this on as a fundraising project. So, we said, ‘sure.’”
Fleming told Rotarians that the organization already has enough money on hand to purchase three helmets for officers. The helmets, according to Redding, cost about $522 apiece.
“We’re asking the community to help us,” he said.
Fleming said he has been with CAFP since its founding in Farmersville about seven years ago.
“Imagine an active shooter” opening fire at a local business, Fleming said while beginning his remarks to the Rotary Club, “and our police department has to respond.” He continued, adding that police have protective vests and other body armor, “but what is left unprotected is from here on up,” he said, pointing to his head.
The department and CAFP need to protect Farmersville officers from rifle rounds, said Fleming, explaining that the helmets the police department would purchase would be rated to withstand a rifle shot. In addition, the helmets would come with lifetime warranties.
The CAFP is a 501©3 charity, meaning that contributions made to it are tax-deductible. Fleming also said that the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance company has pledged to underwrite several of the helmets still needed.
Because the helmets would be custom fitted for officers, they would go with the officers if they leave the Farmersville Police Department, Fleming said.
Anyone who is interested in contributing to the purchase of the helmets may do so by contacting Fleming at 972-0922-3700, or they can email him at [email protected].
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