PUEBLO, Colo. - The Shield 616 Telethon is finally taking place Wednesday to give the Pueblo Police Department and the county's sheriff's office top notch protective gear while they're in the field.
These active-shooter kits come complete with a plate vest that can stop the bullet of a high-powered rifle, a helmet, and medical kits designed to save lives on the spot.
Shield 616 hopes to raise the funds for at least 400 kits, but they aren't cheap. Retail price is $2,000 for each kit.
Pueblo Police tell KRDO they currently have just 100 of these vests in their station, all of which were donated by a single person.
That person is Randy Wills, a former Pueblo Police Officer, and Point Blank Body Armor salesman.
KRDO spoke with Wills over Facetime while he is in Australia providing the same active-shooter kits to law enforcement officers overseas.
Back in 2016, Wills was motivated to make a big donation by a national tragedy to make his community a little safer.
"There was the big shooting in Dallas where five officers were shot and killed," said Wills. "Right at that time, I was doing these Soft Armour deals for the police department, what people know as their regular vests. Those don't provide adequate protection for rifles."
Wills took action, donating 101 kits to Pueblo Police. That cost him around $100,000 in potential sales.
The former Pueblo officer says he's got friends and family in that department and wants to give them and their families some peace of mind.
"There was no additional business out of the donation," said Wills. "The most important thing I got out of it is knowing they have the adequate protection they need."
These days, Wills and his company sell their active shooter kits to Shield 616 at a discount. He says every donation today and Wednesday for the non-profit will give officers a better chance to get home safe to their families when in danger.
The money that Shield 616 is raising and that equipment, they are going to save lives," said Wills.
The Protect the Protectors telethon runs from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
The men and women of the Pueblo Police Department will be on hand at the Wisebrod museum to answer your calls.