US Patriot Tactical, a company based in Columbia, specializing in military and law enforcement gear and equipment made an important donation last week that will impact school resource officers across South Carolina.
Hundreds of school resources officers in South Carolina schools are now patrolling the hallways with basic law enforcement equipment, but thanks to this new partnership, their equipment is now being upgraded.
More than 800 schools in the state have at least one School Resource officer, usually employed by the local law enforcement department
Sheriff Leon Lott, Richland County Sheriff’s department – ”They get involved with the kids in everything they do, going to the classes, walking the hallways.”
The School Resource officers tote the basic law enforcement uniform and gear including a department issued firearm and bullet proof vest
Sheriff Lott says ”we’re finding out in active shooters in schools it tends not to be a pistol or revolver it tends to be a high-powered rifle.”
That’s a type of firearm the currently issued bullet proof vests can’t handle, so US Patriot Tactical decided to make a change, donating active shooter vests.
”One of the owners’ child goes to our school, and he saw the SRO there” Sheriff Lott said “and he said we need to do something to protect that SRO”
“Active shooter vests have plates,” according to Sheriff Lott. “They will stop anything. It’s the same thing our military wears. It will stop a rifle round if they need to engage in that fight if necessary to take down that shooter and save the school.”
The Richland county sheriff’s department expects to have all of its vests for school resource officers by the end of the week.
The vests cost about $350 and last for about 10 years.
Right now the state has a little more than 800 school resource officers in the state’s more than 1,200 schools.