In the wake of a particularly deadly year for law enforcement officers, lawmakers in Austin are taking measures to make sure patrol officers are protected in the line of duty.

On Thursday State Senator Royce West of Dallas filed Senate Bill 12, which would help outfit officers with protective vests.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released a statement following the filing of the bill saying, "Last year, Texas had more law enforcement officers die in the line of duty than any other state in America. Families were shattered by senseless tragedies -- some of which could have been prevented if these law enforcement officers had been outfitted with protective vests capable of stopping high-caliber bullets.”

The $25 million grant program would allow agencies to buy vests and require them to provide "proof of purchase of bulletproof vests, including the price of each vest and the number of vests purchased.”

It’s a cause that has hit close to home as of late. On December 22nd, Bryan Police officer Joel Bravo was hit by a bullet that went through his patrol car window. Policed credited his bulletproof vest for saving his life. Then on January 1st, Calvert Police Officer Steven Magnes was shot in the back and once again, police say he escaped with minor injuries thanks to his vest.

"I have made it a priority this legislative session to give all Texas officers on patrol bulletproof vests that can withstand rifle rounds. I commend Sen. West for filing this important bill to help protect our brave men and women in law enforcement who risk their lives every day to protect us. The least we can do for the families of our police officers is to make sure that when they leave home to protect our communities they have the best protection possible” said Patrick.

To read the full bill, click here.


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