Bartlesville Public Schools To Get Ballistic Shields From Car Dealership, Nonprofit Donation

Bartlesville Police will now be able to get three new ballistic shields for its schools, thanks to a $5,000 donation from Patriot Chevrolet in Bartlesville.

Wednesday, October 4th 2023, 9:45 pm



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When a gunman killed 19 students and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last year, law enforcement waited outside the classroom for more than an hour for a ballistic shield that would’ve protected the officers as they confronted the killer.

Bartlesville Police will now be able to get three new ballistic shields for its schools, thanks to a $5,000 donation from Patriot Chevrolet in Bartlesville.

The ballistic shields help protect both officers and students if an active shooter were to come onto campus.

The shields cost thousands of dollars and are outside the budgets of many agencies, so Bartlesville Police are grateful to the StandFirst Foundation for raising money to help.

Corporal Caleb Samson with the Bartlesville Police Department is the Student Resource Officer at Wayside Elementary School in Bartlesville.

His days mostly involve checking doors, making sure students are where they’re supposed to be, and building a relationship with them.

He’s thankful for shields that can save lives in case the worst happens.

”'They've been very beneficial, just knowing that we have easy access to those,” said Samson. “We do have a school resource officer in every school in Bartlesville now, starting at the beginning of this school year. Having a shield accessible to every school resource officer in every school is a huge benefit for us."

The money was donated to the StandFirst Foundation from Patriot Chevrolet in Bartlesville, and StandFirst will use the money to buy the shields.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton created the foundation, and the goal is to make sure every agency has shields, especially inside schools.

"Ballistic shields are a valuable resource that not only protects officers but protects bystanders in the event of a critical emergency,” said Ryan Sheehan, the Executive Director of the StandFirst Foundation. “And it's not always in the budget for a department to be able to acquire some of those."

The foundation has provided money for shields for other departments and hopes to do so for every department in Oklahoma.

"If we can have a shield in front of every SRO throughout the state of Oklahoma, that's the goal,” said Kevin Lynch, the Bartlesville Representative and a Member of the StandFirst Foundation. “We're going to start with Bartlesville and get everybody equipped here, and maybe that will filter out to some of the other communities, and they can get their officers equipped as well."

Because none of them want to wait for a tragedy before getting prepared.

"It's always better to be overprepared and not wait until something does happen,” said Samson.

After Wednesday’s donation, the StandFirst Foundation is hoping to get enough money to buy three more shields so every school in Bartlesville can have one.

For more information on the StandFirst foundation, you can visit their website HERE.

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