'Invest in a Vest' aims to protect officers

Posted at 2:37 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 08:14:05-04

Compared to the state average, Lewiston's crime rate is on the low side. A statistic that the people of Lewiston very much like.

“We don't want anything bad to happen here. We want to keep it the way it is,” said Arlene Sliz.

“We do not want to be one of those communities where people would say, ‘gee, I never thought it would happen here,” explained Claudia Marasco.

After the shootings targeting officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Claudia Marasco and Arlene Sliz wanted to make sure Lewiston police stay safe.

Chief Frank Previte and his 19 officers wear a bullet proof vest every day.  It’s a great tool for officers on patrol, but when it comes to dealing with high powered rifles, they're no match.

“The concern that I've had for quite a while is some of the incidents and some of the things that we see happening, these vests aren't suited for those situations,” said Previte.

Marasco and Sliz decided to take action. It's called ‘Invest in a Vest.’ They're trying to raise $20,000 for the LPD to purchase better vests, vests that could be donned in active shooter situations. 

“I just think it's important. They all have families, I can't imagine what their kids are thinking these days,” added Marasco.

The chief says the new vets wouldn’t work in the Lewiston budget. 

“That aspect is just not in the financial side for us,” said Previte.

Right now, ‘Invest in a Vest’ has raised $5,000.

“We're servants to the community. We're used to giving. We're not used to taking,” said Previte about the community’s generosity.

The Lewiston Police Department works to keep the streets safe. But two civilian women are doing what they can to make sure it's the police who are staying safe.

Donations for ‘Invest in a Vest’ can be sent to the Lewiston Village Hall at 45 N. Fourth St., Lewiston NY, 14092.