Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bulletproof Vests Tie Shoals to Philippines

Muscle Shoals Police Lt. Clint Reck is a close friend and supporter of Ten-Four Ministries. Clint coordinated an effort to give every officer in Muscle Shoals the book, Take Up The Shield, in 2007 and he never misses a chance to Glorify our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Bulletproof Vests Tie Shoals to Philippines

Wednesday, Aug. 20, was pretty much a typical day for Muscle Shoals police Lt. Clint Reck.

He handled his usual responsibilities at work and went home to spend time with his family.

Without his knowledge, an event took place in the Philippines on the same day involving another member of the law enforcement community. The officer had his life spared that day, largely the result of action taken by Reck, Muscle Shoals officials and members of a Tuscumbia church.

Reck, who attends Parkview Baptist Church in Tuscumbia, worked out a deal that resulted in 24 outdated police vests from his department being sent to the Philippine National Police Department in Manila.

The day after being issued a bulletproof vest from Muscle Shoals, a ranking member of the national police found himself in a potentially fatal situation as he and a fellow officer approached three suspects from a carjacking and robbery case.

"They chased the stolen car to a dead-end road (in Cabuyao)," Reck said. "As the officer walked up to the car, a passenger shot him in the chest from point-blank range with a 9mm gun.

"Fortunately, he was wearing one of those body armor vests. Obviously, he would have been killed."

The other officer involved in the chase ended up killing the three suspects during the shootout, according to Primitivo Tabujara, superintendent and intelligence chief of the Philippine National Police.

The officer's name has not been released by the intelligence division of the national police. Without question, however, his fate would have turned out dramatically different had he not been wearing the vest.

"All you can say is God's hand was involved," said Muscle Shoals Police Chief Robert Evans. "What do you think the chances would be of someone sending vests from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to the Philippines and the following day one of the vests saves someone's life? It's an amazing story."

Reck became aware of the national police department's need and recommended to Evans that the outdated vests be sent to the Philippines. Reck then talked to Mayor David Bradford and he presented the issue to the council, which gave unanimous approval.

Three members of Parkview Baptist Church visited the Philippines on a missionary trip in June and took a vest with them to show police there what they would be receiving. After Tabujara signed a waiver relieving the city of any potential liability, church members packaged the 24 vests and shipped them to the Philippines - just in time for the officer.

"The warranty on the vests runs out after five years, and they have to be replaced," Reck said. "We cannot use them after the expiration date, and we had several stored. We weren't using them and had no plans to use them, so I figured it was worth a chance to see if we could work out things."

Reck said he and other Muscle Shoals officers have tested the outdated vests on the city's firing range and they held up without any problems, so he was confident the vests would stop a bullet.

"The superintendent was very thankful and appreciative that we worked with them," Reck said. "I'm thankful to the church for their help in this, too. This shows how God is in control, even on the other side of the world."

Bradford said there was no hesitation on the council's part to allow the vests to be sent. He added that the city would likely consider doing it again should the need arise, "especially now that it has turned out saving someone's life."

"It makes you feel good to a play a part, even a small role, in something like that," Bradford said.

Bernie Delinski can be reached at 740-5739 or bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.

Courtesy: TimesDaily.com

Original Article: Click here

Copyright Times Daily 2008. All rights reserved. Format differs from original publication.

No comments: