WEST YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – The mass shooting in Las Vegas is prompting a police department in York County to get ballistic helmets for its force.
West York Police Chief Matthew Millsaps asked for four ballistic helmets at this week’s council meeting. Mayor Shawn Mauck and the council went a step further. They suggested and approved 16 to make sure all officers are protected.
“It’s something we had been considering for some time,” Millsaps said.
The shooting made that idea a reality with the West York Borough Council and residents showing strong support for it at the meeting.
“There seems to be an uptick in active-shooter situations and gun violence situations that we could be called to respond to at pretty much any point and time,” Millsaps said.
“We decided because we are a more urban police district. We have a high call volume, and the potential is there for a domestic to go wrong or just gun violence in general that we wanted to implement that in our operational plan. It made sense for West York,” Mauck (D) said.
Ballistic helmets are designed specifically to protect an officer’s head from shrapnel and gunfire.
“As a mayor, the one thing you always want to prevent are those 2 a.m. phone calls that you have to make to a loved one because someone was injured or killed in the line of duty, and this helps to mitigate that chance,” Mauck said.
The ballistic vests will be paid for with taxpayer money.
“For a lot of people, they might say, ‘$5,000 seems like a lot of money,’ but in this case, it’s something that’s protecting someone’s life,” Mauck said. “You can’t put a dollar amount on that, and it really doesn’t have a shelf life. As long as the product isn’t damaged, it’s going to be in our possession for a long, long time.”
The ballistic helmets should arrive within two weeks.