Texas Organization of Financial Service Centers donates $10,500 to purchase ballistic vests for Longview Police Officers.

Texas Organization of Financial Service Centers donates $10,500 to purchase ballistic vests for Longview Police Officers.

by The CAB Man Texas on November 17, 2016

LONGVIEW, Tex. – Spurred by the senseless shootings of police officers in Dallas and elsewhere and promoting strong support for local law enforcement, four members of the Texas Organization of Financial Service Centers (“TOFSC”) have donated $10,500 to the Longview Texas Police Association to purchase ballistic vests.

The four companies making the combined donation — Texas Star, CashMax, Texas Thrifty Loans and Rapid Payday & Title Loan — operate storefront businesses in Longview and appreciate the outstanding public service and professionalism of the Longview Police Department.

“We have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from our community here in Longview,” said Sgt. Jimmy Purdon of the Longview Police Department. “Ballistic plates are a necessity for law enforcement in today’s climate. Officers need the highest level of protection available so they can go home to their families and continue to serve and protect our great community.”

The Longview Back the Blue support group has been raising money for the vests. Christy Purdon and Scarlet Bird launched the effort following the tragic July 10 shooting of five police officers in Dallas.

“Watching so many suffer such great loss made it even more apparent that we as a community needed to step up and do whatever we can to protect our officers,” said Christy Purdon, who is married to Sgt. Jimmy Purdon. “It is my belief that every officer across the nation deserves to be protected in the line of duty. They protect us each and every day, so why shouldn’t we protect them, too?”

Jay Pruett, owner of Texas Star, helped spearhead the donation for the vests.

“What we’ve seen — not just in Dallas but in too many places around the country — has been the horrific targeting and shooting of police officers,” Pruett said. “The police in Longview literally put their lives on the line everyday for us. This is the least we could do for them.”

Longview Police Department Detective Chris Bethard said he is “humbled and in awe of the generosity and support for law enforcement in our community.”

“In my 18 years of law enforcement, the climate of this profession has changed dramatically,” Det. Bethard said. “Due to those changes, the addition of ballistic plates has become a necessary piece of equipment to keep officers safe and give us the best chance of returning to our families. My family and I want to thank you for the support and dedication you give us as we serve this wonderful community.”

Ballistic vests costs about $800 a piece. With more than 100 commissioned officers, the Longview Police Department did not have the budget to purchase vests for every officer.

“I would personally like to show my gratitude to this group of businesses that reached out to me to show their support,” Christy Purdon said. “Their care and love for the community and its officers is heartfelt and will never be forgotten. There are truly no words that could ever show this group of businesses how much this donation means to us.”

Before the Back the Blue effort began, Scarlet Bird had never met Christy Purdon. But like Burdon, she has a strong and emotional connection to the Longview Police Department. She is engaged to Sgt. Donald “Chip” Koepke. The couple met when Sgt. Koepke saved Bird’s sister’s life after she was in a car accident.

“Over the last several months, we have helplessly watched the countless attacks on law enforcement,” Bird said. “Innocent officers have lost their lives for no reason other than being a police officer. I felt the need to make a difference.”

With a goal of raising $80,000, Longview Back the Blue began selling t-shirts and offering the opportunity for businesses and individuals to “sponsor” an officer’s vest.

“We are proud to be part of a community that supports our officers and their needs,” Bird said. “As we continue to work toward our goal, we strive to let the community know that no donation is too small; no act of kindness goes unappreciated. Along with contributions from other groups, we are just shy of the halfway mark in raising funds to outfit Longview’s patrol officers.”

The contribution from these companies is a strong example of how TOFSC members support communities across Texas, said TOFSC President Michael Brown.

“Our members are active in their communities,” Brown said. “They know their customers and they support and respect the job done by all law enforcement officers.  TOFSC is proud to be part of an effort that protects those who protect us.”

This blog post was written by Michael Brown, President of CAB Consulting and the Texas Organization of Financial Service Centers.  He can be reached at 214-293-8676, or Michael@CreditAccessBusiness.com.


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