New safety vests keep Hot Springs police officers safe

HOT SPRINGS, S.D, (KOTA TV) A donation to the Hot Springs Police Department is brightening up officers days and keeping them safe.

American Legion Riders donate safety vests to Hot Springs Police Department. (KOTA TV)

Hot Springs Police Department received five yellow safety vests for their volunteer officers.

At a cost of a $150, American Legion Riders donated the vests after Ed Harvey, the club board president of American Legion Post 71, found out the struggles the police face with supplies.

"Well, the police department supports us so we try to support them. They didn't have the money for the vests so we purchased them and gave it to them," American Legion Riders Director Webb Carlson said.

Before, volunteer officers would share equipment from one black bag and borrow vests from other full-time officers.

Police Captain William Wainman said most of the incidents they respond to are traffic accidents. With these type of accidents increasing in the past couple of months, Wainman said these vests are vital in keeping his team safe as they head out on the roads.

"Quite honestly, we couldn't do them without them. We have an amazing community here and this is just another example with American Legion Riders. Doing this, it just makes it much easier for the reserve officers to be safe. They don't have to try to coordinate with a full-time officer to get this equipment," Wainman said.

Wainman said their budget is tight because Hot Springs is working on a major highway project costing $3.5 million.