DALLAS TWP. — The Dallas Township Police Department has new equipment in its arsenal for potential emergency situations.
Misericordia University pitched in to help the police department purchase 15 ballistic vests. Ten of those vests were issued to members of the police department, and the remaining five will be stored in the department’s emergency response truck.
Police Chief Robert Jolley said the department has been looking at purchasing the vests for some time. The vests are high-density body armor that can withstand gunfire from high-caliber rifle rounds, as well as rounds from handguns. Jolley said the vests cost a little over $3,000.
Robert Zavada, associate director of campus safety, said campus staff have had conversations with the police department on what equipment should be in the department’s vehicle.
Jolley said the department’s emergency response truck was purchased earlier this year. It is equipped with various emergency equipment, including the new ballistic vests.
“We certainly are happy that we could help out the community at large,” Zavada said.
Misericordia University President Thomas Botzman also said the vests were not only a way to protect students, but the surrounding community as well. He saw the vests as a way to be prepared should the unthinkable happen.
“We do a lot of coordination with the Dallas Township police and with other protection agencies,” he said. “We try to do a lot to make sure the campus is safe in other ways for our students and visitors to the campus.”
Although the department recently upgraded its soft-bodied armor that is standard issue for officers, Jolley said it does not provide the same amount of protection as the new vests. Jolley also said the vests respond to a trend — more shooting incidents involve high-powered rifles.
“It’s not all encompassing,” Jolley said. “There’s still a great hazard, but it’s affording possibly a little bit of an edge that somebody would survive being shot at.”