On Thursday, March 31, 2022, the Hudson City Police Department presented dozens of bullet proof vests and Kevlar SWAT helmets to representatives of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 59 Partition Street, for immediate shipment to Ukraine.
The body armor manufacturer certifies their vests for a period of five years, which coincides with a federal grant which also requires periodic vest replacement. Labor contract obligations as well as liability issues also necessitate the vests’ routine replacement. An inventory of surplus equipment at HPD showed a growing collection of old vests.
“We have been trying to determine the best way to dispose of these vests and helmets,” Lt. Andy Moon, HPD Sr. Firearms Instructor said. “You just can’t throw these things in a landfill, and there is a substantial cost to our city associated with having them burned or shredded by an authorized company.”
Some of the equipment was tested at the Department’s firearms range. While the vests and helmets have been taken out of service, HPD found that the equipment is still very effective at stopping small caliber bullets and shrapnel.
World events prompted Chief Moore to contact Father Wolodymyr Paszko , a priest at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Hudson. Father Paszko has been arranging weekly shipments of medical supplies and food to Ukraine.
“Father Paszko is a lifelong friend,” Chief Moore said. “A couple years ago we partnered together and shipped Hudson’s abandoned bicycles to an orphanage in Ukraine. With the vest rotation and the suspension of our SWAT team, this was the most logical and best use for our old vests and helmets. I am sure all of our citizens agree. Our used equipment, which probably would have been scrapped, could actually save the life of an innocent civilian or child.