HIAWASSEE, GA – The Georgia Fraternal Order of Police has donated three ballistic vests to the Hiawassee Police Department. The vests, provided through the Georgia FOP’s “Operation Protect Our Protectors” ballistic vest program, were presented to Chief Paul Smith by Craig Fulghum, chairman of the ballistic vest committee for the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police.
“We are extremely grateful to the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police for their donation of three ballistic vests to the Hiawassee Police Department. While every officer was previously wearing a vest, three of them were beyond the manufacturer’s recommended use date, and did not fit the officers well,” Chief Smith said. “These newly donated vests were measured specifically for the officers they were issued to for maximum comfort and protection.”
“Operation Protect Our Protector” is designed to donate ballistic vests to law enforcement agencies across Georgia, specifically to those agencies that cannot afford to purchase the vests.
“Officer safety is a very important issue to all of us in law enforcement, and the ballistic vest has been proven to save lives and reduce injuries,” said Fulghum. “Every officer should wear a ballistic vest every day. The FOP is working to ensure that more officers within our state have this extra level of security.”
The Georgia FOP represents 4,000 law enforcement members across the state and is part of the nation’s largest law enforcement organization, with more than 318,000 members nationwide. The FOP is committed to achieving better working conditions and benefits for its members and to providing quality service to the public.
The Georgia FOP works to improve communities across the state in a number of ways, including the donation of ballistic vests to underfunded law enforcement agencies, support for Easter Seals and the “Cops and Kids” program, in which officers take children shopping during the holidays.
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