Copley trustees accept safety vests donation for fire department


Copley trustees accept safety vests donation for fire department

West Side Leader – Copley officials said they hope the township is never faced with another mass shooting, but regardless, they continue to prepare for an incident similar to that of Aug. 7, 2011, when a lone gunman shot eight people, killing seven, at homes on Goodenough Avenue and Schocalog Road.

At the May 16 Copley Board of Trustees meeting, trustees accepted a donation of 13 Pro-Tech body armor vests for the fire department from the Copley Fire and Rescue Association. One of the vests was on display at the meeting.

“We thought it was a good idea to have the vests after the Aug. 7 shooting,” said Fire Chief Michael Benson.

If department personnel know they are responding to a violent or potentially violent scene, they will wear the vests, he explained.

Benson said the vests, which the police department currently uses, will handle bullets and edged weapons.

The total amount of the donation is about $5,341, he said.

During the meeting, Police Chief Michael Mier also discussed this past summer’s shooting with the board.

Mier said he was in Washington, D.C., May 12 to see Officer Ben Campbell receive the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) TOP COPS 2012 award.

Campbell was the first officer on the scene when residents started notifying police that a gunman was running around their neighborhood, he said. Without waiting for backup, he took off on foot after the shooter and followed the sound of more gunshots. According to the NAPO, the suspect stepped out from behind a house and pointed an automatic pistol directly at Campbell. He commanded the shooter to drop his weapon, and when the man refused, Campbell had no choice but to shoot and kill the suspect, the NAPO reported.

The investigation found more than 200 rounds of ammunition in the suspect’s car, and other information indicated he was planning to drive to his girlfriend’s family reunion, where he could have murdered many more people, according to the NAPO.

Campbell’s performance that day earned him the honor that only was bestowed on 33 other individuals this year, Mier said.

“He was the only one from Ohio to receive the award and was able to go inside the White House to meet President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden,” he said.

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