Tactical Gear gift to Galena Park Police

By Allan Jamail

Galena Park, TX. ~ Police Chief Richard Wagner said, “Our department has received critical life saving tactical gear which may make the difference between life and death not only to our officers but including students and the citizenry.”

He said the bullet proof shields will allow officers to confront an assailant who maybe heavily armed. The special equipment was made available from contributions by local businesses and was manufactured by Armor Up fitters.

Armor Up fitters is an American company that manufactures lightweight composite armor. Using cutting edge graphene nanotechnology and traditional American craftsmanship, they’ve developed a nonmetallic, bulletproof armor that can be specialized for unlimited applications.

The company states with their base in the Greater Houston Area it allows them immediate access to some of the world’s leading experts in graphene technology, petrochemical manufacturing, aerospace engineers, world class universities, and experts from NASA.

Wagner said his department has two types of shields, one type is small hand-held shields to allow an officer responding to a call or during a traffic stop quick and immediate protection from a shooter. It provides protection to the upper torso; they were also given armor proof helmets. These are to be kept in the patrol vehicles at all times. The fire department has been given some of the same types of gear.

The other type is about 5 feet tall by 30 inches wide, giving complete body protection.

“By using two of the larger shields officers can put them side by side for cover and move them into and down a hallway and or corridor in pursuit of a gunman in a building and to rescue a hostage(s),” Chief Wagner said.


In 1976 while I was serving as Jacinto City’s Police Chief and President of the Jacinto City Police Officers Association, the members and I bought the department’s first bulletproof vests because the city wouldn’t furnish them to us. At first we had to purchase a small amount because our funds were limited. We bought a variety of sizes, and officers exchanged them with each other during shift changes.

Officer Andy Torres was wearing his bulletproof vest one night while chasing a car burglar on foot that had broken into a car late at night. The foot chase went into a heavily weeded lot and while Torres was searching for the suspect in the deep weeds, the gunman jumped up from hiding and shot Torres pointblank in the center or his chest.

The impact of the bullet was so great it knocked Torres down on his back and semi-unconscious. When I got the call that we had an officer shot, it was unknown then how serious Andy’s condition was. When I arrived on the scene, Torres had been revived and was suffering from severe pain in his chest. He was sent to the hospital and released to go home for a few days.

Officer Torres said the bullet impact was as if someone hit him in the chest with a sledge hammer and very painful. He said as he lay on his back looking up at the night sky, he began to wonder if the vest had worked or not and how serious his chest wound was. The bullet penetrated his uniform shirt and cotton covering of the vest then bounced off once it reached the special Kevlar material which the vest was made of.

We were all thankful our police officers association had made the purchases of those vests. Later the manufacturer Second Chance learned of their vest having saved the officer so they flew a company representative here to take a photo of Andy’s bare chest which had a two inch circular black bruise in the center of it and gave him a new vest.

Second Chance lived up to its name and they’re still in the armor protection market. On August 2, 2005, Second Chance was acquired by Armor Holdings, Inc. for US $45 million.