In a recent city council meeting, it was mentioned that the Lake Charles Police Department was awarded approval to purchase 60 ballistic shields to be used by the Patrol Division of the department. The council authorized the purchased and awarded the lowest bid at $27,952.20.

With local concern on what seemed to be a sudden purchase, the LCPD posted a thorough explanation on their Facebook page to help the community understand the purchase. According to their page, the funding came from a grant from 2018 called the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. The grant program was named after Officer Byrne who was an NYPD officer. In 1988, Officer Byrne was protecting a witness who was set to testify in court and was posted outside of the witness's home. While sitting in his patrol car, he was ambushed by two gunmen and shot five times. He was 22 years old.

Facebook, Lake Charles Police Department
Facebook, Lake Charles Police Department

The LCPD applied for the grant in 2018, which was voted on for approval during the June meeting of the city council. They wanted to assure the community this purchase was not made based on the current circumstances in the nation. The shields being purchased are made to be carried in patrol cars for quick access from the front seat of the officer's unit. Rather than having to get a larger one from the trunk in an active shooter situation, the officer can quickly grab the smaller one and save valuable time.

The post on their page finished by reassuring the community they will continue to work hard for us and are grateful for the trust the city has put in them.

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