The following article contains editorial content written by a current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today
GROESBECK, TX – In light of the recent passing of Department of Public Safety Trooper Chad Walker, who died in the hospital on March 31st following a shooting that transpired on March 26th, a group based out of Groesbeck, Texas is pushing for law enforcement vehicles to be outfitted with bullet resistant windows and windshields.
Considering the manner in which Trooper Walker was shot on March 26th (directly through his vehicle windshield), the effort to see this afforded to law enforcement agencies across the country makes perfect sense.
Group pushes for bullet resistant windshields, windows on Texas law enforcement vehicles https://t.co/nolxGPsT7p
— Debby Wingo (@DebbyWingo1) April 3, 2021
The group in question is called the Mutual Assistance Group, Inc. They are a nonprofit organization that aims to assist law enforcement members and their families.
In a recent video, the group advocated to have every law enforcement vehicle throughout the state of Texas fitted with bullet resistant windshields as a bare minimum.
Obviously, complete coverage front to back would be ideal, but windshields would be a heck of a start.
Members within Mutual Assistance Group are working to raise funds to start paying for upgrades to law enforcement vehicles starting in Limestone County.
From there, the group would endeavor petitioning lawmakers to see legislation brought to the table that would afford law enforcement agencies the required funding to have vehicles outfitted with such bullet resistant glass.
Apparently, the group already have a name attached to this would-be legislation, appropriately referring to it as the Walker Strong Initiative.
As mentioned earlier, this seems like a hardly controversial goal to aspire to with respect to keeping law enforcement officers safe while on the job – and would benefit every single officer to ever grace the interior of cruiser across the country, if a national adoption could get going.
Certainly, any means to limit safety vulnerabilities, such as utilizing a reinforced glass on police cruisers, serves as a no-nonsense measure to consider getting implemented.
But there’s just one tiny problem in regards to this pursuit, and that would be money. And according to Dave Applegate, the president of BullDog Direct Protective Systems, bullet resistant glass is not cheap:
“You’re probably talking four to five thousand dollars per windshield for assault rifle protection and $1,000 or more per each side door glass plus the installation.”
From what Applegate says of the costs, when it’s all said and done, outfitting a single police vehicle could cost more than $10,000. While it is nearly impossible to put a price tag on the cost of preserving life, money just doesn’t appear out of thin air either.
According to various sources, the cost of a modern police vehicle out the gate already runs about $40,000. Adding the cost of retrofitting current police vehicles, and new ones as they’d come in, with bullet resistant glass across various agencies would be very costly.
And let’s also be frank and note that many law enforcement agencies (especially for state and local agencies) are operating on budgets that pretty much have every dollar accounted for months before their fiscal year even starts.
But the concept should be put out into the ether nonetheless, and hopefully a means to see it come to fruition can manifest.
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On March 28th, Law Enforcement Today provided a report regarding the incident in question that eventually led to Trooper Walker passing away.
Here’s that previous report as the news was still breaking with regard to the suspect’s reported suicide following the shooting.
MEXIA, TX – The manhunt of a suspect who allegedly shot a Texas DPS Trooper in the head on March 26th has come to an end, as officials say the suspect wanted in connection with the incident had committed suicide.
— Blue Alert (@BlueAlertUs) March 28, 2021
According to the Mclennan County Sheriff’s Office, 37-year-old DeArthur Pinson committed suicide during the evening of March 27th after a Blue Alert had been issued regarding the non-fatal shooting of Texas DPS Trooper Chad Walker that occurred the evening prior.
Limestone County Judge Richard Duncan shared the update on the investigation that he’d received from MCSO officials.
As we at Law Enforcement Today had previously reported regarding the shooting, Trooper Walker was reportedly shot by the suspect when attempting to assist a stranded motorist at approximately 7:45 p.m. on March 26th on FM Road 2848 and US Highway 84.
Officials said that the trooper didn’t even have an opportunity to fully stop his patrol vehicle before being fired at by the suspect.
Shortly after the shooting, law enforcement officers from various agencies started a massive search for Pinson. According to officials, the suspect fled into a wooded area and was on the run for several hours before his body was found.
Trooper Walker was said to have suffered a gunshot wound to the head and abdomen during the incident on March 26th and currently remains in critical condition from the shooting.
The evening after the shooting of the trooper, a prayer vigil was held on Trooper Walker’s behalf by members of the Fairfield Fire Department. The congregation was led in prayer by Chaplain Andrew White and other local ministers.
Locals in Waco, nearby the hospital where Trooper Walker is currently being treated, also gathered together in a show of support for the injured trooper.
According to news outlet The Palestine Herald, Pinson had a criminal past that included a ten-year prison sentence for armed robbery in Houston County. According to the newspaper, he also served in the United States Army and had been arrested by Palestinian Police in 2003 for military desertion.
Trooper Walker was said to have joined the Texas Department of Public Safety back in 2015; and he and his wife have a 15-year-old son, twin 7-year-old daughters and a 2-month-old daughter.
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