Vests could save lives

Tom and Gloria Kellerhals are the kind of people who make our world better.

The Kellerhals, owners of the recruiting firm the Westminster Group, learned from one of their employees that some of Chester County's deputies don't have bulletproof vests. So the Kellerhals have started a fundraising drive to supply the county's law enforcement officers with the vests that can save lives.

They kicked off a campaign earlier this month to raise $12,000 by July 21. That would pay for 15 vests, to be split among the sheriff's office and the police departments in Great Falls and Fort Lawn. About half of the vests would go to the sheriff's office.

Volunteers have placed mayonnaise jars at area businesses. And Tom Kellerhals plans to hit the streets to ask area businesses to donate.

The Kellerhals note that an estimated 30 percent of the officers killed in the line of duty could have been saved if they'd been wearing body armor.

We all appreciate the sacrifices made by our law enforcement officers. It's a difficult job that carries a tremendous risk. Just this year, the risk became all too real when two Charlotte officers were killed in the line of duty. The outpouring of concern from throughout the nation touched us all.

Here's a chance for us to show that support in a more tangible way. The Kellerhals saw a need in the community and set out to meet it. Their efforts will no doubt make the county's law enforcement officers safer.

Thanks to Kellerhals -- and to the officers.

Note: Those who would like to contribute to the Chester County Vest Fund can drop off money at nearly 40 restaurants and businesses in the county as well as at the Westminster Group office on Gadsden Street.

Donations also can be mailed to the Chester County Vest Fund, 121 Gadsden St., Chester, SC 29706. For more information about the project, visit the Web site www.freewebs.com/ chestervestfund.


A couple's campaign to supply vests to Chester County law enforcement personnel deserves the public's support.

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