Mayor, police chief asking for $1M for equipment to protect offi - WSMV Channel 4

Mayor, police chief asking for $1M for equipment to protect officers

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Nashville city leaders have announced a plan to spend $1 million on equipment for police officers.

The equipment, which includes ballistic plates and vests, is designed for officers who are going into tense environments.

Officials said the current equipment cannot protect officers from gunfire from high-powered weapons.

“This summer alone, we have seen officers from police departments in two separate states killed by gunmen, essentially snipers, carrying high-powered rifles,” said Chief Steve Anderson in a news release. “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.”

Those recent tragedies had Mayor Megan Barry asking questions.

“I reached out to Chief Anderson and said, ‘What can we do to make sure that our Metro police officers are safe?’” Barry said.

The plan calls for the purchase of 1,500 units. Each package of equipment costs $720.

Anderson and Barry will be asking Metro Council to use money from Metro's 4% Reserve Fund. The item is on the agenda for the Sept. 6 meeting.

Anderson called it a necessary purchase.

“As criminals turn to these weapons, we need to be prepared,” the chief said.

Barry said she hopes the move will send a message to those who protect and serve.

“I think the message this sends to the officers is that we care about their safety and we want them to have the best equipment possible so that they’re protected,” Barry said.

If the resolution is approved, it would reportedly take another 60 days for the ballistic gear to be delivered.

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