TEXAS - There was a time when you would ask a boy of second or third grade age what he wanted to be when he grew up that the answer would be ‘policeman.’
A few months ago, a school resource officer, in east Texas, it was noted, was handing out police stickers to children at a local elementary school. One boy, age seven, started crying and pushed the man’s hand away. “No, I don’t want to be a policeman – my sister says I can’t be one – I will get killed.”
Those very words from one so young are not only sad, but in this day and time, seemingly true. Since 2013-2014, there seems to have been a siege of law enforcement officers fatally wounded in the line of duty. Several of those lives that have been lost were from the state of Texas.
Which is part of the reason why Sen. Robert Nichols, strongly believed in co-authoring Senate Bill 12. Nichols said, “While some law enforcement agencies across Texas have funding to purchase protective gear for their officers, not all do. If this bill is passed, it would help local, county and state law enforcement agencies buy high-quality protective vests for patrol, and other field officers.”
Sen. Nichols said, “In recent months, there have been a rash of shootings that have targeted law enforcement in general – those involved in the shootings in Dallas were not just police officers, there were sheriff deputies and DART officers too.”
“I knew that in Tyler, the community was joining together in fundraising and other efforts to ensure that their law enforcement officers were safe, and were fitted with the proper vests – so to protect them… we felt on the state level we should do something as well.”
So, Nichols consented to co-authoring the legislation. “Those agencies who need the vests and go through the Governor’s criminal justice department, can get the financial help needed by getting reimbursements – if the bill is approved.”