Local motorcycle group donates money for bulletproof vests
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -
More Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies will be wearing upgraded bulletproof vests thank to a local motorcycle group.
The Roughnecks motorcycle club is dedicated to helping law enforcement. Many of the riders are active or retired law enforcement, firefighters and other public safety professionals.
The upgraded ballistic vests will go specifically to Hamilton County's Reserve Deputies, who are civilian members of the community trained and certified to ride along with officers, and help them in the line of duty.
"Well it's always tough sometimes to get the extra budgeting we need to outfit them with different things they need such as bulletproof vests," said Sheriff Jim Hammond.
The Roughnecks Motorcycle Group donated $4,000 to help. They raised the money through a charity fundraising event, called "In The Line of Duty."
"I'm past the ability to serve in the military or have a career in law enforcement, this is a really good way to be able to give back," said Rick Hlubek.
A few nights a week, Rick Hlubek hangs up his motorcycle vest and puts on a Sheriff's Deputy uniform.
He's one of about 50 deputy reserve officers in the community.
"I mean just the things you learn out there, what they do on a day-to-day basis is just incredible," Hlubek said.
He joined the reserve program three years ago and started seeing firsthand what it's like to be an officer.
On July 16th, when police responded to an active shooter at the Naval Reserve Center, Hlubek realized even the reserve deputies need additional armor .
"If you answer a call where there's an active shooter situation going on or god forbid another July 16th situation happens," Hlubek said, "These ballistic vests stop rifle rounds unlike the normal vests that the officers wear."
The vests are an extra 20 pounds and can protect against assault rifles.
The group of riders hope it will help protect the men and women who face danger in the line of duty.
This donation will be enough to outfit about half of the reserve deputies and the county is still looking for the funds to buy ballistic vests for the rest.