Officer Sabrina Rigby demonstrates the new device inside her Tahoe. | Austin Nelson

Archived Story

New tools keep officers cool

Published 11:47am Monday, August 13, 2012

Underneath the uniform of every Alexander City Police officer on patrol is a Kevlar vest designed to keep bullets from penetrating his or her body.

An unfortunate side effect of this life-saving device, however, is that bullets aren’t the only thing the vest keeps out.

“Once you get hot under this vest, you are hot for the rest of the day – it can be miserable,” said officer Sabrina Rigby.

Airflow is severely limited by the form-fitting vests. But a group of citizens and businesses have made an attempt to take some of the heat off ACPD.

The department received 38 new Cool Cop Body Armor Air Conditioning systems. The design of the device is simple – a hose connects to an air conditioning vent in the officer’s car. At the other end of the hose is a u-shaped nozzle that slips in the top of the officer’s vest to force cold air under the armor.

Tony Goss with the Lake Martin Landlord Association said he pitched the idea to the organization after talking to a police officer one day.

“As a landlord, I have to depend on the assistance of the police department a lot,” Goss said. “An officer came out one day, and he kept tugging on the bullet proof vest. I am kind of nosey, so I asked him, ‘why do you keep pulling on that thing?’ He told me, ‘man, it’s hot in here.’”

The Landlord Association got the effort started with a few personal donations, but the group took a vote and decided to donate $400. Goss then started soliciting others and within a few days, he had raised $1,825.24, enough for 38 cooling devices.

“These guys are out there sweating for us,” Goss said. “I just thought we needed to do something for them.”

The following people and businesses donated to the effort: Harold Cochran, State Farm Insurance; Jimmy Ogletree, Riverbend Gas and Grocery; Service Printing; Larry’s General Merchandise; Lake Martin Landlord Associaton; JR’s Sports Bar and Grill; Ralph Holley; East Dale Realty; Faye Edmonson; Clarence and Betty McMillan; James Cleveland, Sunny Level Marathon; and Andy Tucker, Deans Depot Gun and Pawn.

Deputy Chief Willie Robinson said the officers are all loving the new gear.

“We really appreciate everyone who donated money – it will help make our officers more comfortable,” Robinson said.