Last month constable Terrica Williams of the Baton Rouge constable’s office announced that they were in dire need of new bulletproof vests. She reached out to the public for help in obtaining equipment their officers lacked. The city’s Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice Foundation answered the call on December 21st.
Constable Williams said, “We got a call back saying their organization would provide us with at least 16 new ballistic vests for our officers, the guys who patrol the streets.”
The purpose of the foundation is to support law enforcement officers working for all agencies by filling in the gaps that exist. Clay Young, one of the foundation’s founders, says that their goal is to bring community members together with law enforcement.
He said, “People in law enforcement are not anti-community and if people support the community it doesn’t mean they’re against law enforcement. This kind of rhetoric is destructive because we’re all in this together.”
Williams said that it wasn’t only the foundation who came forward to help our officers. She said, “Once we put the word out that we needed this equipment and the foundation offered to buy the 16 ballistic vests, Sheriff Sid Gautreaux phoned saying, ‘I know the foundation is buying the constable’s office 16 vests, but our office has 30 bulletproof vests that may only be a year or two old.’”
A bulletproof vest should last about five years, so these vests will provide the officers with the safety and security they need to do their jobs. If you’re not sure what a constable’s job is exactly, they serve subpoenas, warrants and eviction notices. What makes their job so dangerous is that they have no way of knowing what kind of person will open the door they’re knocking on.
“Constables undergo the exact same training at the police academy as all law enforcement officers. We are in training for the same amount of time and do everything that all law enforcement officers do in training,” said Williams.
Now that the constable’s office has this new equipment their officers can be confident about their safety while carrying out the job they’ve all committed to doing.
Williams added, “With the direction society seems to be going in, all police officers need the best equipment and protective gear available. They need to be safe while they protect and serve the rest of us in the community.”