HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The Houston Police Officers Union is spearheading a campaign to buy special tactical vests capable of stopping rounds from rifles.
"It does seem extreme," said HPOU President Ray Hunt. "But we had an extreme situation when five police officers were gunned down by a sniper."
Hunt was referring to the July 7 shooting involving Dallas police officers during a demonstration in downtown Dallas. A dozen officers were injured, five of them fatally.
"We did not anticipate that officers would start having targets on their backs for snipers with a high-powered rifle," said Hunt. "Dallas was a game changer."
The vests are called level IV tactical vests. They contain steel plates which cover vital organs. The union, through tax-deductible donations to the Houston Police Foundation, is hoping to purchase at least 600 of them.
They're turning to the public, the people who have asked how they can help. Waiting for the city to buy them would take too long.
"We're looking at between $300 and $400 per vest," added Hunt. "We're hoping to get close to $200,000 in donations, and I believe the good folks of Houston will do that."
To make a donation: www.houstonpolicefoundation.org