On the anniversary of the assassination of five Dallas-area police officers gunned down in a rifle attack, Texas Governor Greg Abbott utilized a new state law to begin the process of issuing rifle-resistant body armor to officers.
Abbott announced the Office of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division (CJD) is accepting applications from law enforcement agencies around the state to help in the purchasing of rifle-resistant body armor. The 85th Texas Legislature authorized the program to provide the higher level of protection to officers in the wake of five Dallas-area officers being gunned down at the end of a Black Lives Matter protest on July 7, 2016.
The bill, authored by State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) and State Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford), restricts the use of the funds to only be “used by eligible law enforcement agencies to equip eligible officers with bullet-resistant personal body armor compliant with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standard for rifle protection,” according to information provided to Breitbart Texas by the governor’s office.
“We must do all we can to protect those who protect us,” Governor Abbott said in the written statement. “The men and women who put their lives on the line to protect Texans deserve the greatest protections, and as Governor I am committed to doing all I can to support them. I want to thank Sen. West and Rep. King for their leadership in getting this bill to my desk so we can equip law enforcement agencies across Texas with this life saving armor.”
On July 7, 2017, a man hiding in a parking garage in downtown Dallas, opened fire on officers working to keep the peace during a Black Lives Matter protest, Breitbart Texas reported. Four Dallas Police Department officers and a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) police officer lost their lives. The gunman also wounded nine other officers and two civilians before being killed by an explosive charge placed by Dallas police.
Officials remembered the loss of Dallas Police Sergeant Michael Krol, Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens, Officer Michael Smith, Officer Patrick Zamarripa, and DART Officer Brent Thompson.
Abbott’s announcement also fell on the day the San Antonio Police Department buried one of its officers killed in the line of duty. A suspected auto burglar shot and killed San Antonio Police Officer Miguel Moreno on June 30 as he got out of his patrol car to question the suspect.
Texas had the dubious distinction of having the highest number of police officers killed in the line of duty during 2016, Breitbart Texas reported. The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) stated that the Lone Star State lost 19 officers in the line of duty – seven from gunfire. This year, three of four Texas peace officers killed in the line of duty were shot.