HUDSON – Dozens of bullet proof vests and Kevlar SWAT helmets were presented on Thursday by the Hudson City Police Department to representatives of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church for immediate shipment to Ukraine as the country continues to fight the unprovoked attack and invasion by Russia.
World events prompted Chief L. Edward Moore to contact Father Wolodymyr Paszko, a priest at St. Michael’s Church in Hudson. The priest has been arranging weekly shipments of medical supplies and food to Ukraine.
“Everyone sees on television every day what is going on and just the thought that some of our equipment could actually save a child or a family – these will be issued to civilian people – maybe a doctor. Just the thought that someone’s life could be saved is excited all of us over here,” the chief said.
The body armor manufacturer certifies their vests for a period of five years, which coincides with a federal grant that also requires periodic vest replacement.
Labor contract obligations as well as liability issues also necessitate the routine replacement of vests.
“We have been trying to determine the best way to dispose of these vests and helmets,” said Lt. Andy Moon, the department’s senior firearms instructor. “You just can’t throw these things in a landfill, and there is a substantial cost to our city associated with having them burned or shredded by an authorized company.”
Some of the equipment was tested at the department’s firearms range. While the vests and helmets have been taken out of service, Hudson Police found the equipment is still very effective at stopping small caliber bullets and shrapnel.
“Father Paszko is a lifelong friend,” said Chief Moore. “A couple of years ago we partnered together and shipped Hudson’s abandoned bicycles to an orphanage in Ukraine.”
The chief said with the vest rotation and the suspension of the department’s SWAT team, “this was the most logical and best use for our old vests and helmets. I am sure all of our citizens agree. Our used equipment, which probably would have been scrapped, could actually save the life of an innocent civilian or child.”