The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

November 5, 2012

Sheriffs to consider vest program



Members of the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association have decided to take a look at a national program called In-Vest, which strives to ensure every officer is provided with a bullet-proof vest.

In-Vest USA began in 1993 when a South Carolina man, Michael Letts, learned that local law enforcement officers were not provided bullet-proof vests as a standard part of their personal equipment. Letts began the nonprofit organization to help officers in his state.

The program has since expanded across the country to raise awareness and raise funds to distribute vests to agencies in need.

Rudi Raynes-Kidder, executive director of the West Virginia Sheriffs Association, said after shootings in August, she decided to poll the sheriffs to find out how many did not have enough bullet-proof vests for their officers.

“It’s not a state law, and many of us just take it for granted,” Raynes-Kidder said. “It’s such a big deal with the increasing amount of violence you see here in the state.”

In August, Clay County Deputy John Westfall was shot by a suspect several times, but his life was spared because he was wearing a bullet-proof vest. Westfall was responding to the call that followed the shooting of state troopers Cpl. Marshall Lee Bailey and Trooper Eric Workman.

“(Westfall) was wearing a borrowed vest issued from the city of Spencer,” Raynes-Kidder said. “Had he not been wearing a vest, he wouldn’t be with us.”

Sheriffs Association members plan to pursue legislation that would require every officer in the state be equip-ped with a bullet-proof vest.

“If you can have that extra protection, it could save a life.”

Raleigh County Sheriff Steve Tanner said although every officer in Raleigh County has access to vests if they wish to wear them, not all agencies are as fortunate.

“They are rather expensive, and some small towns cannot afford to fully equip their staff,” Tanner said.

If the legislation moves forward, Tanner said, a firearm and vest would be issued to each officer upon graduation from the State Police Academy.

“Most smaller agencies have smaller resources, but (In-Vest) gives an opportunity to take care of those people.”

Contributions can be made to the In-Vest program at any City National Bank, at the West Virginia Sheriffs Association, or at WCHS-TV in Charleston.

For more information, visit www.investusa.org.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • pittsburgh rally 5,000 rally in Pittsburgh against EPA Clean Power Plan

    The echo of people chanting, “Hey, hey, EPA, don’t take our jobs away” could be heard in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday. The voices came from about 5,000 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members and their families, along with other unions such as the Boilermakers and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International (IBEW), marching through the streets.

     

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Alpha plans to idle coal workers

    Approximately 1,100 employees at 11 Alpha Resources-affiliated surface mines, preparation plants and other support operations in southern West Virginia got notice late Thursday afternoon that their jobs could be in jeopardy.

     

    August 1, 2014

  • New rules to fight black lung disease kick in today

    Joe Massie has spent the last 22 years of his life fighting a disease that takes his breath away, a disease he contracted deep underground in the coal mines over a period of 30 years.  Black lung may take away his breath; it has not stilled his voice.

    August 1, 2014

  • target red Zero tolerance Target Red campaign hopes to lessen intersection crashes

    It happens every day. A driver hurries on his or her way to work, school or maybe nowhere in particular. Just ahead, a green light turns yellow. With a little more gas, the vehicle just might be able to clear the intersection before that light turns red. Or maybe not. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • derby dames Beckley area Derby Dames to host WFTDA team Aug. 9

    The Beckley Area Derby Dames will face off against a WFTDA-certified team, the Harrisonburg, Va., Rocktown Rollers, Aug. 9 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • phil roop Artisans show off skills at String Band Festival

    The Appalachian String Band Festival celebrates the music of the mountains each year.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Calendar — Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

    August 1, 2014

  • VA clinic to remain closed

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Greenbrier County Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain closed due to ongoing correction of environmental concerns. 

    August 1, 2014

  • Beckley festival seeking vendors

    Taste of Appalachia is seeking restaurants, vendors, organizations and churches to participate in the Aug. 23 event. 

    August 1, 2014

  • 080114 FRI TWV multitalented teen.jpg Only 13, Shady Spring and TWV teen has big resume

    Well-rounded is an understatement for 13-year-old Rachel McNeel. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo