Governor Henry McMaster, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, and the founders of US Patriot Tactical held a press conference at A. C. Flora High School Thursday afternoon to make a large announcement.
US Patriot founders Phil Dee and Paul Yoo will be donating 83 active shooter armor kits to school resource officers across the state. There will be one kit donated for each school district in South Carolina.
Lott voiced his appreciation to Dee and Yoo for their generous donation, and explained how the armor kits will benefit not just school resource officers, but students, too.
“We are incredibly honored by the generosity and long-standing partnership we have with U.S. Patriot Tactical and this most thoughtful donation,” Lott said. These donations will help equip our deputies with the most up-to-speed gear to assist us in our efforts to protect our precious children.”
McMaster noted that this is a step in continuing to provide additional safety for schools statewide. “We don’t have school resource officers in every school, but we need to have them, some we need to have multiple officers. But they all need to have vests, and they all need to have these vests. This is another example of leadership in South Carolina,” he said.
The active shooter vests have a plate inside made of steel, that can withstand bullets from not just hand guns, but also rifles. The kit also includes a back plate, two magazine pouches, and a tourniquet. It weighs about 35 pounds.
Dee said he and and Yoo decided to take what started as a simple donation locally, and expand it to the entire state. “These are our kids, these are our children, and we need to do everything we can to protect them. School resource officers have a duty to protect the kids, and we have a duty to protect them,” said Dee.
The active shooter kits are scheduled to be dispersed to districts across the state next week. Lott said it will be the decision of each district as to which school resource officer will wear the vest.
More information about US Patriot Tactical can be found on their website.