LARGO, Fla. — Forty Largo Police officers will soon be equipped with new equipment that could mean the difference between life or death in an active shooter emergency, and it's all thanks to the generosity of a handful of local doctors.
Wednesday night, doctors from Largo Medical Center plan to present the Largo Police Department with a $20,000 check to pay for active shooter kits. One of the most important parts of the kit is a 3-pound vest that can protect officers from assault rifle bullets.
The money comes straight from the pockets of local doctors, not the hospital's budget.
Doctors at Largo Medical Center say it started with a request from Officer Brian Livernois, who told the medical center that they needed protection in case of an active shooter, but they didn't have the money in the police department's budget. Doctors at the medical center agreed to help, chipping in their own money.
“The members of our Medical Staff see firsthand what weapons do to people,” said Paul Steele, MD, Medical Staff Member. “And since we have the capability to assist our community in different ways, why wouldn’t we want to provide this type of additional safety for our local officers giving them more confidence when entering into any violent situation, helping save their lives in the process?”
Largo officers say they are in awe of the gift, which could absolutely save lives in light of a tragedy. "Sadly, we have to be prepared for these kinds of situations. Knowing the community stands by us to keep our officers safe is a great feeling," Randy Chaney, the police department's public information officer explained.
Largo Police leaders hope to fund active shooter kits for the entire department in the near future.