Harrisburg police need updated protective gear

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Capt. Deric Moody has been with the Harrisburg Bureau of Police for more than 20 years. He says his helmet and shield have been around longer.

“Our protective gear is outdated,” Moody said. “We need to become current and give our officers better protection.”

Moody said the department wants City Council to reallocate $65,000 so they can purchase 30-40 sets of gear.

“We don’t like calling it riot gear,” Moody said. “We go to planned events including rallies and protests to provide people with protection so they can exercise their right to free speech. We want the new gear in case a riot breaks out.”

The council was expected to vote on the request Tuesday, but Councilman Ben Allatt asked that it be tabled.

“I just felt we needed to have more information,” Allatt said. “We will hear from the police department and the public will have more of an opportunity to ask questions or voice their concerns.”

Allatt says the safety and well-being of the police department remains a top priority.

Mayor Eric Papenfuse says he supports the request.

“When people hear riot gear, that gets some people anxious,” Papenfuse said. “We don’t want to turn our police department into a military, we just want to make sure they have better protection when they are serving the public.”

City Council will hold a meeting July 5 and members may vote on the reallocation request during a legislative session the following evening.

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