Police looking to wear vests that can stop rifle bullets

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Police want vests that can stop rifle bullets. (KTRK)

The Houston Police Officers' Union has raised more than $40,000 to buy rifle-proof vests for officers.

Former Pearland police officer Rick Fernandez tells Eyewitness News his store, Cop Stop, is selling out of the Level III and Level IV rifle plates.

"In today's day and age, you have suspects out there that are shooting a lot higher caliber weapons," Fernandez said. "And so what you're asking these rifle plates to do is stop that."

In addition to the officers' usual body armor, an officer could have a vest with a rifle plate inside in the backseat of a patrol car.

"The plate carriers then are grabbed and put on under certain circumstances," Fernandez said.

Eyewitness News Reporter Kaitlin McCulley tried on the gear, which adds up to about 20 pounds.

Fernandez said officers who have the rifle plates would not wear them throughout their whole shift; rather, an officer would add the extra protection when he or she responds to a specific kind of emergency call.

"If you have an active shooter or a barricaded subject," Fernandez said.

If you would like to help officers buy the rifle-proof vests, visit HoustonPoliceFoundation.org.

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