Police officers in Monticello are bulking up their personal protection with the purchase of a dozen body armor kits.
Police Chief Randy Soliday says the department is seeing more violence and firearms calls, so officers need to be prepared.
“We felt that it would be better to come up with some additional protection,” he says. “Ballistic helmets and ballistic panels that we could put in carriers – so we could better equip the officers to handle higher-powered firearms.”
Soliday says sometimes, when a call comes in, officers don’t know if a firearm is present.
“It’s a concern that we be prepared when they do come in because sometimes, when the calls come in, we’re not told that a firearm is involved," he says.
The department purchased 12 kits – roughly one for each full-time officer – with help from the city and the local Rotary Club.
Soliday says the department has not had to use the new armor yet.
The police department also plans to apply for a grant to upgrade its bulletproof vests.