New Shields for Wilkes-Barre Police

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- A businessman from Luzerne County made a donation to the Wilkes-Barre Police Department Thursday morning. He raised money to buy the department new protective shields.

All rolled up, it doesn't look like much, but with the press of a button the PopShield opens and can help save a police officer's life.

Three of the shields were donated to the Wilkes-Barre Police Department.

"In the event that we have to do a high-risk traffic stop or we're going to serve a warrant on a house, this will give our guys a little extra protection in the event that there is any kind of gunfire," said Kirk Merchel, Wilkes-Barre Police Department.

The shields were donated by local businessman Donnie Evans and his friend Brian Feist.

"Just because they're putting their lives on the line," Evans said. "They're good people."

Evans and feist Hosted an event earlier this month called "Skate with a Cop." Hundreds of people attended.

The event raised enough money to purchase 68 shields which they donated to police departments all throughout the Luzerne County.

"That was the pinnacle of that event. Just to see literally the community providing our local law enforcement with a level of protection that they don't have now. That's what it was all about. it was great to see that," said Feist.

Wilkes-Barre police officers say the shields make a world of difference. The shields they normally use are not collapsible.

"They're heavy, cumbersome, an average shield weighs about 30 pounds. These, as you can see, are much lighter. This only weighs, I say about, five pounds," said Lt. Joe Novack.

"These are better because our officers can actually keep these on the front seat of our car. If they need them and they're easily accessible and not as bulky as the other shields," Merchel said. Evans and Feist plan to host another "Skate with a Cop" event in the future.

Their goal is to get every police officer in the department a PopShield.

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