A quilt being raffled off by the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association Wives’ Auxiliary features emblems from sheriffs’ offices in Missouri’s 114 counties. 

Law enforcement officers face danger every time they put on their uniforms, holster their guns and go out on the street.

The good news is, they can have an extra layer of protection if they wear bulletproof vests. The bad news is, quality vests can be very expensive – for some officers, the cost can equal a half-month’s pay.

Currently, several dozen sheriffs and deputies around the state of Missouri don’t have vests – or the vests they have are old, outdated and don’t fit properly. However, Show-Me State citizens can help officers obtain new vests by purchasing a ticket for the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association (MSA) Women’s Auxiliary Quilt Raffle.

The one-of-a-kind handmade quilt – created by Dianna Stockman, the wife of Mercer County Sheriff Stephen Stockman, and her sister, Sarah Bonnett – features patches from sheriffs’ offices in Missouri’s 114 counties. Tickets can be purchased by anyone for $10.

Proceeds from the raffle (sponsored by the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association Wives’ Auxiliary) will be used to purchase bulletproof vests for sheriffs and deputies whose offices can’t afford to buy them and other safety equipment, as proceeds allow. Southern Uniform and Equipment, a Missouri-based company, is donating the first vest and has promised to sell the rest to the auxiliary at cost. The names of officers needing vests will be put into a separate drawing. The number of names to be randomly drawn depends strictly on the number of tickets sold.

The drawing for the quilt will be held Oct. 8., and the winner will be contacted by phone. The drawing for the vests will take place the same day. The names of the winner of the quilt raffle and the sheriffs’ offices that win vests will be posted online within five days of the drawing.

Texas County Sheriff James Sigman said some reserve officers in his department might benefit from the raffle.

“Most of our vests are purchased through a grant program that is a 50/50 match,” Sigman said, “but I have some reserve deputies that are not covered under that grant that are in need of vests.”

“I’m so happy they’re (buying vests),” Dianna Stockman said. “We have to do what we can to help our law enforcement because they put their lives on the line for us every day. Any confrontation can turn into something bad – I know I wouldn’t want to do the job.

“I dispatched for the sheriff’s office for 18 years under the previous sheriff and that was close enough for me.”

To purchase tickets online, log onto https://go.rallyup.com/quilt-raffle.

For more information, call MSA marketing director Jeanne Merritt at 573-529-6900.

More than 3,000 police officers’ lives have been saved by body armor since the mid-1970s when the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) began testing and developing body armor and performance standards for ballistic and stab resistance.

According to the Police Executive Research Forum, officers that don’t routinely wear body armor risk fatal injury at a rate 14 times higher than officers who do.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) show the risk of dying from a gunshot wound to the torso is 3.4 times higher for law enforcement officers who do not wear armor vests.

BJS show armor vests have saved the lives of more than 3,000 law enforcement officers over the past 30 years.

Currently, only 60 percent of all law enforcement agencies require officers to don body armor on duty.

Quilt raffle

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