Live Saving Vests Given In Officer's Honor

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August 18, 2005
In 1993 a bulletproof vest saved the life of North Augusta Public Safety Officer Jamie Turner. Today, other Aiken County officers are safer in Jamie’s honor. News 12 is on your side with how these vests change lives.

“First shot striking me in the chest, knocking me to the ground,” Turner said.

It was a shot that nearly killed North Augusta Public Safety Office Jamie Turner 12 years ago.

Jamie’s mom, who welcomed him home from the hospital in 1993, thanks God today he wore a bulletproof vest.

“When I was working and I saw a police officer I’d go up and pat his chest and I’d ask him where’s your vest? It saved my son’s life,” said Shirley McCarey, Jamie’s mom.

In Jamie’s honor, In-Vest, a Columbia-based charity, gave 10 bulletproof vests to Jackson, New Ellenton, Wagener and Burnetown’s police departments.

“And our mission is to make sure every officer in America will be properly outfitted with a bulletproof vest,” said Michael Letts, In-Vest founder.

The vests are big gifts to the small agencies whose budgets are tight. They cost up to $1,000 each and must be replaced every five years.

One thing that makes these vests so expensive is they must be custom made for each officer, smaller ones for smaller frames and larger ones for larger frames.

But that expense is nothing compared to the value of Jamie in his family’s life.

“It still gets you right here,” said Kathy Turner, Jamie’s wife.

Jamie’s wife Kathy was six months pregnant with their son, Adam, when he was shot. Adam is glad to know his dad.

“He’s like the nicest person in the world,” Adam said.

And Jamie’s daughter, April, is thankful dad wore a vest that day. She loves him…

“More than all the oceans put together,” April said.

Jamie Turner is now retired and a stay-at-home dad with his kids. Right now 3-4,000 South Carolina officers are without bulletproof vests. Several years ago In-Vest gave vests to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Departments. Now Aiken County budgets for the vests.

Click here for more information on In-Vest.