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Syracuse Police Department donates safety, medical equipment to Ukraine

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh assists in loading ballistic vests from the Syracuse Police Department to be donated to Ukraine on April 27.
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh assists in loading ballistic vests from the Syracuse Police Department to be donated to Ukraine on April 27.

In the latest show of support for Ukraine, the Syracuse Police Department is donating equipment to the Kyiv Police Department.

More than 200 retired ballistic vests and helmets along with medical supplies will be donated from the Syracuse Police Department to the Ukrainian humanitarian organization “Ukraine Focus.” The equipment will then be donated to Kyiv’s Police Department. This donation comes after the city of Syracuse announced its sister-city program with the Ukrainian City of Irpin.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said the efforts demonstrate a commitment to aiding Ukraine.

“Anything that we can do at this point to help the people of Ukraine we are going to do,” Walsh said. “We did that through our sister city relationship and we are doing that through this important donation.”

Walsh added the donation to Kyiv will ultimately help Irpin and Ukraine as a whole.

“Irpin and Kyiv are neighbors,” Walsh said. “And so what’s good for one city is good for the other and what’s good for both cities is good for the nation.”

While the vests are retired, Ukraine Focus communicated the age with the Kyiv police ahead of the donation. Syracuse Chief of Police Joe Cecile said the vests are still able to stop bullets and are a better choice than going without.

“When your choice is standing in front of a bullet with just a uniform on as opposed to a vest that may be out of warranty but still has its capability of stopping a round, I am sure they would choose that,” Cecile said. “And we are happy to supply them with that.”

Ukraine Focus CEO Brock Bierman expects the vests, helmets and medical equipment will be delivered to the front lines in Ukraine by the end of June. Bierman said the equipment will be used in multiple places throughout Ukraine.

“They will go to police officers who are actually serving in liberated areas and also who are serving, unfortunately, in the infantry on the front lines,” Bierman said.

Beirman said the organization will work as fast as possible to deliver the life-saving equipment.

“These vests will save lives and we are looking forward to getting them to Ukraine as soon as possible,” Bierman said.

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.