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Officers need more protective equipment, union president says

Posted at 6:58 PM, Sep 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-03 19:19:50-04

CINCINNATI -- Wearing a bulletproof vest is a requirement for Cincinnati police officers. 

The department says it replaces vests every five years, so officers never find themselves wearing one that is expired. Now, the head of the police union is suggesting more protection is needed.

Sgt. Dan Hils, the president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, showed off an external bulletproof vest cover during a news conference Friday. The department already has 25, but Hils would like to see more of them ready to use in an emergency.

RELATED: State Sen. Cecil Thomas says fund should pay for vests

"We have the technology to put on our police officers an external vest that can use metal plates or ceramic plates to protect our officers in certain situations like active shooter, with the protection that can actually stop rifle fire," Hils said.

Hils said he'd also like to see better protection for police detectives.

"We don't have vest carriers for our detectives so they can put on a vest immediately if they're on another type of assignment where they're wearing a suit and tie, other clothing," he said. "They're not wearing their vests, but they suddenly get thrown into something such as an active shooter, they should be able to don a vest cover so they can make themselves feel ready. We do not have that for most of our detectives in the City of Cincinnati."

Officer Louis Arnold is the president of the Sentinels Police Association. He agreed on the need for protection for officers.

"I think we have to think about all these issues," he said. "But the number one thing is that each time an officer goes out and he's not properly equipped, his life is in danger."

Hils said he has not made any official request to the city to obtain these extra protections for officers.