Wagoner County Sheriff's Office Receives New Body Armor

Monday, December 30th 2019, 10:51 pm
By: Justin Shrair

The Wagoner County Sheriff's Office has two new pieces of body armor and two new ballistic helmets that cost thousands of dollars.

The new gear was given to the Sheriff's Office by the nonprofit group Shield 616 after a Wagoner County Resident decided to make an anonymous donation.

"The ceramic plates offer a lot more protection than the soft body armor," said Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott.

The new gear was given to two deputies, Aaron Ballard and Forrest Holycross.

"These are two deputies who have demonstrated to me that they are extremely loyal to the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office, these are two deputies who are very emotionally attached to their community," said Sheriff Elliott.

Sheriff Chris Elliott said the old system required officers to put on cumbersome and heavy steel metal plates over their existing soft body armor and their uniform.

That made it tough for Deputies to move in and wear for extended periods of time.

Sheriff Elliott said the new vests are made of soft body armor, integrated with ceramic plates, cover the vital organs and offer a much higher level of protection against higher velocity rounds.  He said the new ballistic helmets are a first for the Sheriff’s Office which offers protection as well.

"We are seeing more common where active shooters will be armed with what we call a long gun..its very hard to stop those unless you have steel plates or ceramic plates," said Sheriff Elliott.

Just this year, The Officer Down Memorial Page, a nonprofit that tracks Police Officers killed in the line of duty says nearly 50 officers have been killed by gunfire.

Sheriff Chris Elliott said he hopes the new gear will help reverse that number. 

"We want to be able to stay there do our jobs until we neutralize the threat and if we've got the body armor yeah we may take a few rounds but we are gonna keep moving forward and we are still in the fight," said Sheriff Elliott.

The Sheriff said the new gear should arrive in the coming weeks. He said he also would like to outfit all of his Deputies with the new gear in the future.

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