MIDLAND COUNTY, TX (KWES) - It's almost time to bust out your shotguns to support a good cause. The 4th annual Bustin' for Badges clay shoot is right around the corner.
The Midland county sheriff's office is in need of new bulletproof vests.
Bulletproof vests are carried by all Midland County officers. Using an old vest from 2004 we got to see first hand just how effective they are at protecting officers from bullets.
"There's still some traumatic injury from the impact but it's a bruise versus a bullet hole," said Lt. Timothy Telck with Midland County.
"We have a lot of things that are going on in this country," said Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter.
"We have many many people that are out to do harm and damage to law enforcement officers. We're a target, we know it, we wear a badge, we wear a uniform, they know who we are, we don't know who they are."
The vests are replaced once they're shot at or every 5 years, whichever comes first. About 65 are needed for the sheriff's office, and they don't come cheap. They range from $800-$1,000 a piece.
"At any time someone can decide to start shooting," said Telck. "A regular traffic stop can turn into a gun fight. The officer needs to be as protected as possible cause if he goes down, there's nothing else stopping an individual from continuing to shoot other people."
Modern versions of the bulletproof vests are lighter weight and even more safe. The vests used today can't stop some of the larger handguns.
Sheriff Painter is confident in the turnout for Bustin' for Badges.
"We have the greatest community in the world! People in this area come out and support law enforcement, they support good government, they support good people," said Painter. "We think that we're fit in all three categories."
If you want to fire some shells and raise some money, the deadline to enter into the clay shoot is April 25.
The actual clay shoot will be held on Friday, April 28, 2017 at Windwalker Farms in Stanton.
If you want some more information on how to sign up, visit http://www.bustinforbadges.org.