Hockley Co. deputies safer with new lit safety vests

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 6:57 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - In Hockley County, Sheriff’s deputies have some new safety gear that’s helping them shine through the darkness while serving the community.

Don Campbell, an Ohio police officer and the creator of Lit Safety Products, created new light-up vests that can be seen better at night.

“Every cop needs one of these,” Campbell said.

Campbell got the idea for the vests after a fellow officer died working a night-time crash.

“With all the lights, they found out that there was no way he could have seen the officer,” Campbell said. “After I heard that it kinda sparked my interest that, you know, that could happen to any one of us any night.”

Campbell says by adding lights he was able to resolve that issue and help protect officers in the line of duty.

“There’s just nothing like it. It’s just so bright,” Campbell said.

In Hockley county, the Sheriff’s department started using the vests in May. The department used grant money to buy the vests which cost $100 each. Captain Jeremy Ross with the Sheriff’s department says he first saw the vest when the Ropes I.S.D. Police Chief was helping the department with a wreck.

“He very much stood out,” Ross said. “So when we got the money we got them for our guys.”

With the new equipment in hand, Sheriff’s deputies can rest assured that when the sun goes down the lights come out; providing a level of visibility that hasn’t been seen before now.

“You can see them a lot farther out,” Ross said. “So it will make a difference I believe.”

Campbell says the vests make deputies and police officers shine even through the lights of their cruiser while working roadside.

“Every time you’re outside at night your head is on a swivel,” Campbell said. “You turn all your lights on on your car, you know, so they can see the car, but we’ve done nothing so that you can see us.”

Captain Ross says all of his deputies have one. He hopes it will help his officers avoid a deadly situation in the line of duty.

“We did have a paramedic get hit by somebody not paying attention,” Ross said. “It has happened here. It’s been a while. Thank god we haven’t had any more, but we have had close calls. I’m just glad we have it. I’m glad we were able to get it for them. I hope it, you know, saves somebody’s life.”