Police department raising money for body armor

Posted at 7:58 PM, Aug 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 07:32:39-04

One police department is resorting to raising money to get body armor for its officers.

Potterville Police Chief Bartlett reads a thank you note from McDonalds after they donated money to help them buy new armor vests.

The Potterville Police Department is losing $50,000 this year because the state cut the personal property tax on businesses. The city manager tells us, the state has only refunded the city a thousand dollars and that forced the department to make cuts.

Even though it's a city of a little more than 3,000.

"I mean it's not Detroit, said Chief Shane Bartlett. "I find there's enough through traffic on the main roads."

As Chief for Potterville police he says his department needs be just as prepared as big cities, like Detroit.

"What I'm trying to do is take the initiative to get my officers these rifle plates that will stop a high velocity rifle bullet should the worse thing happen in and around Potterville," Chief Bartlett said.

But because a new state law has cut the revenue from the personal property tax the city couldn't pay for it.

"There weren't department funds available for it," said Chief Bartlett. "Its something I wanted to get a hold of and I wanted our department to have."

So he bought his own, "one of these vests with two plates, a carrier, and the first aid kit."

Chief Bartlett wants his entire department to be equipped with the vests and everything that will protect them.

"It has everything. Depending on exactly what you get, usually runs a thousand dollars," Chief Bartlett said.

It's money the city doesn't have so he's crowd sourcing it.

"Thank you for all you do to keep Potterville safe. we hope you'll never need this," a note Chief Bartlett reads from the owners of the local McDonalds.

He needs $5,000 for each of his five officers to have their own ceramic vest.

"It includes a first aid kit. some critical medical supplies you may be able to use to keep a wounded person alive," Chief Bartlett explains.

So far the city has been stepping up.

"It really does warm my heart that there's some many people out there that still cares about us this much."

While he was surprised by how the city has helped. City manager Wanda Darrow tells us that kind of care is just how Potterville is.

"When the need arises can come together to get something done for our police department or any other department that needs it," Darrow said.

The community has helped to raise $3,000 just a bit shy of the goal.

"With this equipment we'll have the armor necessary to help survive an incident like this to make sure we can operate efficiently," Chief Bartlett said.