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EPISD officers granted new rifle-resistant vest

EPISD Chief Police Officer Victor Araiza says the new vests will help officers do their jobs more effectively if a tragedy were to occur.

A new grant from Texas Governor Greg Abbott will provide police officers at the El Paso School District with rifle-resistant vests.

Abbot allocated $25 million statewide as part of a grant that was opened to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

More than $20,000 from that grant was awarded to the El Paso Independent School District to help them purchase rifle-resistant vests..

EPISD Chief Police Officer Victor Araiza says the new vests will help officers do their jobs more effectively if a tragedy were to occur.

"It will enhance the safety of our officers and ultimately enhance the safety of our students because our officers will be able to respond to critical incidents like an active shooter scenario and other active situations," Araiza said.

A total of 44 officers will receive new vests. Parents say these vests are a huge benefit for the safety of teachers and students.

“We're going to be more secured. The kids are going to be more secured. We're going to be more comfortable leaving them at school," said Patricia Rodriguez.

Others say it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

"It'll provide more safety for them so they don’t have that split second to think, 'Do I do it? ... If they have a vest, they're going to go for it," said Stella Menchaca.

Araiza says the new vests will help officers do their jobs more effectively if a tragedy were to ever occur.

"All you need to do is look at the unfortunate tragic incidents in Las Vegas and other places and school shootings and things like that. And if officers can’t get to that threat because they are injured or killed, that poses a problem for us."

EPISD expects the vest to be available to every officer in the next two months.

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