SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Ten officers in Smithfield will now have new protective gear thanks to a generous donation.
On Wednesday, the Smithfield Police Department received 10 Angel Armor rifle-rated vests and ballistic helmets from Shield616 – a non-profit group that facilitates donations of protective gear for first responders.
Shield616 Founder Jake Skifstad said they’ve provided more than 3,000 vests to departments in 23 states so far. He said his organization relies on donors to connect them with local departments.
The gear that was presented to the officers was donated by Renewal by Andersen Window Replacement. The officers who received the protective gear include nine patrolmen and one detective.
“Having this equipment is a huge step up for us,” Chief of Police Richard St. Sauveur said. “Although we provide our officers with body armor and we replace that body armor every five years, what we wear right now is rated to handle a sidearm, something that we carry on our hips. What we wear right now is not rated for a rifle round, and that is the benefit of this body armor.”
St. Sauveur said they would need an additional 32 vests to supply all of their officers.
“We’re hoping that other individuals and businesses see what Renewal by Andersen did and will donate vests to equip the entire police department,” he said.