Some Dallas police officers are getting an extra layer of protection that could quite literally save their lives.
A non-profit organization is outfitting 20 of Dallas PD's most vulnerable officers with specialized ballistic vests. They're called Angel Armor ballistic body plates and weigh just two pounds apiece.
“The [two] plates will fit front and back inside the vest,” said Brian Brown, Angel Armor product specialist.
When snapped together, they can withstand the bullet from a high powered rifle -- like the one used in the July 7 downtown Dallas ambush.
Angel Armor gave FOX4 a demonstration, using a similar high-caliber weapon. The bullets dented the plates but didn't go through.
Detective Corporal Brian Shawn was one of the officers wounded by the gunman on July 7 when bullet fragments penetrated his vest. He believes this new body armor could have prevented that.
“They will stand up to increased velocity firepower, such as firepower officers sadly met with on July 7,” said Maurine Dickey, Dickey's BBQ.
With a donation from Dickey's BBQ, 20 of the ballistic vests are being given to DPD's gang unit. The hope is with help from the community -- more will soon follow.
“You know that you have the equipment to go forth with confidence to know that you can do your job and end the threat, so to speak, and live to fight another day,” said Lt. Eric Roman, DPD Gang Unit.
Dickey's BBQ is starting a campaign to buy all 1,600 Dallas PD officers a vest, which cost $500 apiece. A donation gets you a picture of the officer whose vest you're actually buying and a personal letter from them.
DONATION INFORMATION: bbabfoundation.org