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Donations Needed For Police Body Armor Upgrades In Grand County

GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - It's not the first SHIELD616 fundraiser in Colorado, nor will it be the last, but the mountain communities in Grand County are asking for help to protect their officers and deputies in the line of fire.

The Grand County Sheriff's Office partnered with the Granby Police Department for the ask, saying they would want ballistic rifle plates for 25 sheriff's deputies ($1,200 per set) and additional ballistic helmets for 15 sheriff's deputies ($400 each). For police, they're hoping for RISE armor system ballistic rifle plates and carriers, and ballistic helmets for a minimum of 10 Granby police officers ($2,800 per set).

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Both departments have plates that are either about to expire or have expired. They need to update their gear about once every five years. The difference in protection technology can be huge.

"They are a lot lighter so a little bit lighter gives us a little move availability to wear them during the day," Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin explained.

More time with the protective plates on, the more time they are protected and ready to roll when they're needed for any kind of call.

Chief of Granby Police Dave Shaffer said making this a priority is a simple choice.

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"The sheriff and I have a responsibility to provide the best equipment for our folks who are out there serving the community every day," Shaffer said. "So to see one of our officers injured or worse in the line of duty is tragic, and so we absolutely take their protection incredibly seriously."

He went on to tell CBS4 Mountain Newsroom Reporter Spencer Wilson there's no worse feeling than getting a phone call that one of their team members is down, or has been killed in the line of duty. He said so far his community has been very supportive of their service to Granby, and he hopes it will extend a bit further to help protect officers.

"I'm incredibly grateful and extremely humbled the support for law enforcement especially in this area," Shaffer said. "It is just really off the charts. We take very seriously the service we provide to the community and so we are very thankful that the community would express their support."

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If you're interested in donating to either of their causes, you can find their departments on the dropdown menu of SHEILD616's website.

When gear is outdated, law enforcement is still finding ways to put it to use. Officers with Winter Park Police Department recently donated some of their expired gear to soldiers fighting in Ukraine, since it was gear they would not have been allowed to use anyway.

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