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: email@example.com
- Local News
- Calendar — Saturday, April 19, 2014
Help sought for Back to School event
Heart of God Ministries will host its 13th annual Back to School Community event from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 2. The theme for the event is “The Gift of Giving.”
Food vendors still sought for International Dinner
Food vendors are still being accepted for the YMCA of Southern West Virginia’s 35th annual International Dinner, where area residents are invited to feast on flavors from all around the world.
Breaking it down: iRaleigh funding will reach $12 million
The total funding requirement for implementing the iRaleigh Initiative will be just over $12 million, according to information from the Raleigh County Board of Education.
Speaker to talk about facing adversity
Nationally known speaker David Ring will speak at 6:30 p.m. May 5 at Sinking Creek Baptist Church.
Changing of the guard at Tamarack
Tamarack’s general manager of 14 years, Cheryl Hartley, has announced her retirement, effective June 14.
Enjoy tastings and interact with artisans at first Arts & Wine Show
The Resort at Glade Springs will host its first-ever Arts & Wine Show April 27th from 2 to 6 p.m. inside Glade’s Italian Grill, 255 Resort Drive, Daniels.
Event to assist farmers to expand their business
The New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA), West Virginia State University (WVSU) and Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF) will host a free luncheon Tuesday geared toward assisting local farmers and agricultural producers on how to effectively and responsibly expand their businesses.
Churches joining for Way of the Cross
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church will have a community service in Uptown Beckley on Saturday, marking the end of Holy Week before Easter celebrations begin.
Kindness from the heart creates a wealth of memories
Three years ago, Mount Hope resident Paula Jones made it her personal goal to see that no area girl sacrificed the opportunity to attend a formal school dance due to her inability to purchase a dress.
- More Local News Headlines