Recycled ballistic vests help save lives across the world

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MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) – We expect police officers to risk their lives each day to keep us safe. But when you think about it, who is protecting them?

There’s a group based in Muscle Shoals who has provided thousands of bullet proof vests to officers who may otherwise go unprotected.

They received a large donation Friday from the state’s top law enforcement agency.

As each vest was pulled from their cardboard box, Muscle Shoals Police Captain Clint Reck grew more excited.

“Just to know these vests, the condition they are in, I can take them straight out of this box and put them in a bag to ship directly to a police officer somewhere in the United States,” Reck stated.

In 2009 Reck helped create “The Armor of God Project”.

They take bullet proof vests and recycle them to agencies who can’t afford the $700 price tag. To date they have given out more than 7,500 and saved three lives.

“We’ve had three people shot, three officers shot, two in the Philippines and one in Guatemala. We actually send vests to different countries, but 99% of our vests go here in the United States,” Reck explained.

Friday, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency donated 38 ballistic vests which have been used by various state departments.

Trooper Johnathan Appling can’t imagine putting on his uniform without one.

“That’s just as important as their badge or their weapon or anything else to have that ballistic protection,” said Appling. “Because in the world we live in, an officer’s job is extremely dangerous and they need that safety.”

Captain Reck said even though the vests have lost their manufacturers warranty, they’ve proven they can still save lives.

All donations made to The Armor of God Project go directly to shipping the vests to law enforcement.

Here is a link to their website if you’re interested in donating to the project.