If they ever get into a shootout with the bad guys, Saugerties cops will be thankful for a gift from Kingston’s Armor Dynamics.
The company recently installed ballistic shields and sun visors on a Saugerties patrol car free of charge. If the department wants to have the rest of the fleet outfitted, it will cost $1,700 per car.
Other departments have already made use of the program, including those in the town of Ulster, the city of Kingston and the Ulster County Sheriff.
“We want local police to have the same type of protection that the military has,” Armor Dynamics president Malachy Meechan said.
“While this is not our core business,” he said, “we wanted to give back to the community.”
For the Saugerties police department, “it is a way to show our road patrols that we are concerned with our safety,” said deputy chief Joe Sinagra, who was deputy chief in the town of Ulster when Armor Dynamics outfitted one of their cars.
Saugerties police said there has never been a police-related shooting in either the village or the town.
“However, anything can happen at any time,” Sinagra said.
Police are taught that when involved in a possible armed confrontation, to use their vehicle doors as possible protection. Without the Armor Dynamics ballistic shield in place, doors provide less than perfect protection, Meechan said.
The ballistic sun visors shield officers from shots fired through the windshield.
Sinagra said the department would seek support from the public if it decided to purchase protection for additional cars. He said that he will probably talk to HITS as well as the folks at Sawyer Motors, who run the annual car show, or possibly even the Chamber of Commerce.
“We want to do this with the public’s support,” Sinagra said.