Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe told members of the Rotary Club of Jasper Tuesday that her department is doing everything it can to prepare for any possible critical situation.
“Last year’s tornadoes were an eye-opening experience for me,” she said. “We all need to be better prepared for those kinds of incidents. Emergency responders, businesses and citizens need to have a plan.”
One area soon to be added to the Jasper Police Department that will address critical incident preparedness is the formation of a tactical unit.
“We have attempted to put together a group of officers and equip them to manage almost any kind of critical incident,” Rowe said. “We expect the selection process for this group to be finished this week.”
Rowe said the advanced weaponry used by criminals today has forced police to use more funds on body armor.
She said weapons used in some crimes committed in Jasper in the past year have been strong enough to pierce most bulletproof vests.
“Once this group is in place, I want them to have the best possible body armor,” Rowe said.
The body armor Rowe hopes to aquire is Dragon Skin, a ballistic vest used by special forces operations, the United States Secret Service, the Central Intelligence Agency and many SWAT teams. The estimated cost for the vests would be $3,500 to $5,000 each.
“We are getting some support from the public to help pay for the Dragon Skin, but that will be something that I will be asking for in my next budget as well,” Rowe said.