Earlier this month the Mount Dora Police Department received a generous donation from a resident to purchase four active shooter vests for officers. Soon after, other donations for the protective gear followed.
As a result, the department will have 24 vests in total with hopes for seven more. Beginning next year, additional vests will be budgeted as necessary equipment for the officers, according to Lisa McDonald, Mount Dora Public Information Officer
It all started about a year ago: “Lefty” Bruce, a resident of Mount Dora, approached Deputy Chief Robert Bell and Public Safety Director John O’Grady about donating money to the Mount Dora Heroes Foundation, from his own foundation called “Lefty’s Hopes and Dreams.” The donation was to be used specifically for active shooter vests.
The vests cost approximately $400 each and contain steel plates capable of stopping high velocity bullets from weapons that an officer’s normal ballistic vest is not capable of stopping. Officers can don the gear in a rapid fashion during an incident.
“We’re excited to have them,” said Deputy Chief Robert Bell. “Lefty’s been a great supporter of the community and the Mount Dora Heroes Foundation.”
The Mount Dora Heroes Foundation is a non-profit that was established three years ago to support families of fallen officers, crime prevention programs, officer safety projects and the K-9 Program, including medical expenses for retired K-9s .