Gaston County commissioners were ready to drop a large sum of money on equipment designed to keep local law enforcement officers safer.
Now, thanks to a private benefactor, they’ll be able to spread the county’s money around to have a greater benefit. Andy Warlick, president and CEO of Parkdale Mills, informed Gaston County Commission Chairman Tom Keigher last week that he and Parkdale Mills will contribute $82,000 as a charitable gift. The money will be used to purchase about 200 ultra-strong bulletproof vests from Premier Body Armor that will be worn in times of need by Gaston County Police officers and deputies with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office.
Gaston County Commissioner Chad Brown, who represents Riverbend Township, suggested earlier this month that the county purchase stronger bulletproof vests that would offer better protection for vital organs. They would be worn over the regular protective vests that most officers wear every day. The difference is the lightweight, 5 mm-thick steel plates in the more high-tech vests can stop bullets from high-velocity weapons.
Brown said his concern was that police have become targets of violence across the country, and the $82,000 investment was a small price to pay for additional safety.
Read the full story at the Gaston Gazette.