BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A part-time police officer is hoping his grassroots efforts continue to gain momentum in response to the ambush that killed three law enforcement officer and wounded three more on Sunday, July 17.
"Some of the equipment that we wear is expired. It's outdated," said Troy Viccellio. "Not all the departments have the funding to provide the equipment to the officers and a lot of times officers are required to purchase their own equipment or we get it from surplus and the equipment is already on the verge of being expired when you get it."
Viccellio is referring to the shelf-life on body armor – commonly referred to as bullet-proof vest.
Viccellio pointed out that no vest is actually bullet proof, but the ones commonly worn by law enforcement can break down over time.
"I wanted to help start getting some of the newer equipment out onto the street," he said. "After we had our shooting in Baton Rouge, the need for higher protection is certainly there."
Viccellio has started a GoFundMe account and is in the process of setting up a non-profit organization to help purchase vests, helmets and life-saving tourniquets kits.
"As we saw last Sunday, the first units that were there were regular patrol officers helping other officers," he said. "So the more guys that have the helmets, the more guys have that level of vest- the better the chances."