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Metro Plans to Buy Additional Protective Equipment for All Police Officers

August 16, 2016

Legislation will be filed with the Metro Council on Friday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Megan Barry and Police Chief Steve Anderson announced a plan today to spend about $1 million for equipment that would help protect officers from criminals carrying high-powered weapons.

The plan calls for providing ballistic plates and vests to protect officers against assault-type rifle fire that their current equipment can’t stop. Ballistic helmets, non-ballistic face shields and identifying patches also would be provided to each officer.

“Our police officers put their lives on the line every day,” Mayor Barry said. “They deserve to be protected to the fullest extent possible as they work to keep our city safe. This plan will enhance the safety of the men and women in blue serving our city for years to come.”

“This summer alone, we have seen officers from police departments in two separate states killed by gunmen, essentially snipers, carrying high-powered rifles,” Chief Anderson said. “We also know the gunman in the Orlando nightclub massacre was armed with similar weaponry. I am grateful to Mayor Barry for working closely with us to ensure that officers in Nashville have the equipment they need to face extreme threats.”

The equipment is designed for defensive purposes when police officers are going into tense environments. Most officers won’t wear the items routinely.

The entire package of new equipment costs $720.25 per officer. Experts at the MNPD Training Academy evaluated available equipment and made recommendations to Chief Anderson and his staff. Legislation to use $1,080,375 from Metro’s 4% Reserve Fund to buy 1,500 units will be filed Friday with the Metro Council for consideration at the council’s September 6 meeting. The 4% Reserve Fund is dedicated to the purchase of essential equipment or building repairs for Metro departments.

Mayor Barry and Chief Anderson made the announcement at an event honoring the late Officer Andrew Nash, who died of natural causes at age 30 in 2014.