Tecumseh’s finest will have one more line of protection should the worst happen thanks to a $10,000 contribution from the Citizen Potawatomi Nation to the police department. In 2016 the tribe donated $5,000 to the Tecumseh Police Department for the purchase of active shooter kits and followed up in May 2017 with another $5,000.
Active shooter kits are bullet proof vests and Kevlar helmets designed to protect the vital organs for law enforcement officers responding to situations where high caliber ammunition is used. The vests can be worn on top the standard bullet proof vests many police officers wear on daily patrols, giving an extra layer of protection when it’s most needed.
“The Tecumseh P.D. are often times the first ones alongside our tribal police when a call comes in,” said CPN Vice-Chairman Linda Capps. “We saw an opportunity to add some protection for those who put their lives on the line to protect our community.”
Though the county has a number of law enforcement agencies, including the Shawnee P.D. SWAT team and the Pottawatomie County Sherriff’s Warrant Team, Tecumseh’s police leaders wanted their patrol officers to have the gear if a situation immediately arose where they needed it.
“If our officers run into a situation where somebody has a rifle that situation could deteriorate quickly. So it would be best for everybody to have that level of protection, and that’s when we started looking for these active shooter kits,” said Assistant Chief Kidney.
A total of 14 vests and Kevlar helmets cost just more than $10,000, or roughly $714 per kit. Though the cost may not seem large, with municipalities across the state facing cuts at the state and local level, their purchase would have been a strain on the city’s budget. Assistant Tecumseh Police Chief J.R. Kidney said donations were vital to purchasing the kits.
“It would have been crippling to the city to provide these through the budget cuts we’re facing, because they already provide us with the standard bullet proof vests,” said Kidney. “Along with the tribe, local businesses here in town donated, including Morris Cleaners, Cooper Funeral Home, Ralph’s Pharmacy and Jordan Construction. Their donations will be used in our active shooter training with the equipment.”