AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - This week was a victory for the safety of officers at the Amarillo Police Department.
Governor Abbott announced a statewide grant that will give the Amarillo Police Department 23 rifle-resistant vests and the Amarillo City Council signed off on 11 body cameras for the motorcycle unit.
"We were able to purchase these 11 body cameras from a federal grant, Justice Assistant grant which we received," said Chief of APD, Ed Drain.
Currently, cameras are mounted on to the police bikes; but that's about to change.
"The body cams will not be attached to the motorcycle, it'll only be on the officer and it has an internal battery that comes with it.So it will be supplied internally," said Chief Drain.
The Getac body cameras will serve as an investigative tool and an open line of communications between police and citizens.
"You've seen across the country, all of us have seen some shootings and other use of force type-scenarios that have been fairly controversial," said Chief Drain. "Body cameras, even when they have them and they're on and working, they're not a panacea. They don't always tell the whole story, but usually they can give you a better idea of what happened then if you didn't have the body cams at all."
"You can be unbiased by having both of those," said Trevor Gundlach, an Amarillo resident. "Not having any intermittent type of situations will really help law be more accessible and applicable for everyone."
The APD is also getting 23 custom-fit rifle-resistant vests for the bomb squad and SWAT thanks to Governor Abbott's statewide grant.
"The SWAT team when they deploy on a call out, the bomb squad goes as well because they have to operate the robot to go up to provide some observations and some audio close up to the situation," said Chief Drain.
"Those are the guys that are down there when the rubber meets the road and go out on some of our most dangerous calls and that's why we're getting these vests for them."
The Amarillo Police Department is one of 453 different jurisdictions statewide who will benefit from Gov. Abbott's grant.
To see if your local police department is receiving rifle-resistant vests, click here.