Brownsville ISD Police to Receive Bulletproof Vests Amid New State Grant

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BROWNSVILLE – An independent school district police chief says the new rifle resistant body armor is a gift his department is eager to receive.

Ricarda Hernandez is a grandmother of six. She said her grandchildren have a special place in her heart. She says when she takes them to school there is only one question on her mind.

"Are they safe in school?" Hernandez asked.

Oscar Garcia is the Brownsville ISD police chief. His department is in charge of securing 52 locations including schools and facilities.

He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS thanks to a grant signed by Gov. Greg Abbot his department received $19,000 to purchase new rifle resistant bulletproof vests.

"It's a tool that will be used by our officers an additional tool or piece of equipment to be used that we feel that it's going to just enhance their safety approach to, God forbid, an active shooter scenario," Garcia said.

Garcia told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the $19,000 will buy 38 vests. That's a vest for each officer in the department.

He explained the new generation of bulletproof vests will not only be stronger but also lighter and more breathable than the vest his officers are currently using.

"It's a lifesaving equipment that we feel that our officers will be better equipped to respond to an active shooter scenario," Garcia said.

Garcia explained he is currently looking through different models and brands of vests. He wants to ensure he chooses the right vest to protect his officers.

He said once the vests arrive, his team will train for different active shoot scenarios while wearing the vest.

"We train, we train and we make sure that the officers are acclimated to that equipment and they are properly trained to use the equipment and care for it as well," Garcia told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Hernandez said she's for any piece of equipment that allows her grandchildren to be safer at school.

Garcia asked anyone who witnesses any suspicious activity on a Brownsville ISD campus or facility to please call and report that activity at 956-982-3085. He said lines will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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