Powell Police Receive New Body Armor

May 31, 2022

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Powell Tribune photos by Mark Davis

City of Powell law enforcement officers received all new body armor capable of withstanding rifle fire.

The armor was presented on Tuesday from a charity organization. The organization, Shield 616, was founded by former police officer and SWAT team member Jake Skifstad and facilitated by donations from area residents, businesses and members of New Life Church. The entire force
was given the armor, which costs about $3,000 each, in front of a crowd at the church. It is top of the-line equipment, light enough to wear on a daily basis.

Skifstad has been involved in several active shooter scenarios,
including attacks at a Colorado church — also called New Life — and a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs in 2015 resulting in the deaths of three people, including a police officer, and injuries to nine. Shortly after the traumatic event, Skifstad decided to quit his job and form the charity after he said God spoke to him.
“I truly do believe the Lord spoke to me audibly that night,” he told the crowd, gathered to
watch the presentation. “All he had to say was ‘Jake, what are you waiting for?’”

Since then, he has been crossing the country delivering lifesaving body armor to police forces. Park County Sheriff’s Office patrol division deputies were previously presented with new armor, provided by the organization and community donations.
Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt stood in the middle of staff to receive the donation. “Having an
all day platform that can be worn with both the soft armor that we wear now, plus that all day rifle
protection is irreplaceable,” he said.
Shield 616 is named after a bible verse, Ephesians 6:10-11. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the
schemes of the devil.”

The department has been working for years to raise the funds, according to officer Sean Alquist, who kept the program
rolling after it was initiated by officers Caleb Smith and Braden Hancock.

“To be able to have the peace of mind that I’m going to have this on my body, no matter what call
I go to, it’s just insanely neat. It’s hard to put it into words to be able
to have something like this at our disposal,” Alquist said.

The Angel Armor vests come with Truth Snap 308 C Plates and a Revision Baltskin Viper
helmet. The body armor is a dual, lightweight, multi-hit capacity vest, which is rifle rated. It can
be worn with a combination of plates that reportedly stop armor piercing bullets. The helmets are specifically designed for law enforcement and highly rated by National Institute of Justice
standards.

BY MARK DAVIS
Tribune Staff Writer