ANDREWS, SC (WCSC) - Police officers in the Town of Andrews are about to get a new tool to protect them from gunfire.
They’re awaiting the arrival of brand new body armor to replace their old protective vests.
“It’s important that we provide the best protection for our police officers,” said Andrews Mayor Frank McClary.
The town’s nine officers have been wearing the same body armor for about ten years.
“They do have an expiration date and if you don’t change within that time frame there’s no guarantee they’re gonna keep you safe,” said Investigator Oliver Nesmith.
The new vests cost $750 apiece and won’t be bought with tax dollars.
Chief Tyrone York reached out to the community to get involved and help pay for them.
“We sent out letters to different businesses and churches and so forth and they did not fail us,” York said.
The new protective vest is much heavier than the one now in use.
It has a metal plate in the front and back.
Officers say they don’t mind the added weight as long as it gets them home at night.
We sat down with some of the officers who will wear the new vests.
“To be honest with you it’s about time,” First Sgt. John Jackson said. “In this day and age with the new high capacity level ammunition that they have to shoot us, we need something that’s gonna at least protect us and hold us until the cavalry comes.”
Even the department’s victim advocate will get the new body armor.
“The state has required victim advocates to have a vest as of this year because we do sometimes respond to domestic violence situations where there are weapons present,” Flowers said.
It’s an added layer of protection that will help officers better protect themselves and the public.
York expects his officers to have the new body armor by March 20.