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Edmond Police Receive Donation From Local Business To Buy Protective Gear

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EDMOND, Oklahoma -

Edmond police officers are going to be getting one more layer of protection to help them when they patrol the streets.

It's all thanks to a local business owner who wanted to do something in light off all the recent violence against officers.

"It really irritated, frustrated, bent me out of shape something fierce and I said something has got to be done about this and maybe we can help a little bit," said Phil Parduhn, who owns Pelco Products in Edmond.

Parduhn is putting his money where his mouth is. 

He just donated $30,000 to the Edmond Police Department so they could add a layer of protection for their officers, in the form of these new rifle rated bulletproof vests. 

The department will be getting 100 of the protective vests, enough to outfit all 89 of their patrol officers as well as detectives and support staff.

"We are seeing more and more threats, more violence directed towards us than we have in years," said Edmond police Chief Bob Ricks.

Ricks said to make the donation legal, the money was donated to the Edmond Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, which is a nonprofit arm of the police department. In turn, the association was able to purchase the vests for the department.

"Those who need a vest will be able to have one, " said Ricks.

The recent gun battle with Michael Vance and local law enforcement officers just this past week really brings the violence officers face close to home. 

"That's a prime example of how important it is for officers to have the proper equipment to handle a situation like that," said Edmond police Major Tim Barnthouse. "Rifles are very accessible by the general public these days. Across the nation we are seeing more and more individual encounter law enforcement with rifles and so the proper equipment is necessary. "

Ricks said the vests Edmond police currently use only offer protection from bullets fired out of sidearms, not rifles, and usually need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years. The new vests will be able to withstand a shot from a rifle and are said to last up to 25 years.

The Edmond Police Department hopes to have the new rifle rated vests in the hands of their officers by early next year, and Barnthouse for one is glad.

"That's what we want to do," said Barnthouse. "Everything we want to do is do everything we can to keep our officers as safe as possible while they are out there protecting our community."

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