FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Hundreds of ballistic vests – formerly worn by Fresno County Sheriff’s deputies – are being shipped to Armenia to help front line workers in the medical field.
Sheriff Margaret Mims says they usually return the vests to the vendor but instead decided they could be used in this way.
“They have really no value to us except now to maybe the Armenian people because now these vests can still be used and now, they will be used in a humanitarian effort,” said Mims.
Each vest costs around $400 new. Before making the donation, Sheriff Mims had to ask the county to legally donate the vests.
“Once I found out that it was legal, I called our county council and county auditor to let them know what I was going to do,” said Mims.
Berj K Apkarian is the Fresno-Armenian Honorary Consul. Apkarian says he almost didn’t believe the donation was going to happen when Mims told him about it.
“Having this donation was truly the icing on the cake for me saving lives and protecting innocent people is upmost important,” said Apkarian.
Apkarian is pleased to hear Fresno County stands with the country of Armenia and now wants to see the United States following suit.
“United States taking a very strong action against Turkey and telling Turkey to back off it is not your war it is not your territory you are creating instability in that region,” said Apkarian.
State Senator Andreas Borgeas was at the donation event. Borgeas says the donation is critical and can help save so many innocent lives.
“This is not going to military, this is going to civilian use and we just want to let folks know that Fresno County and the greater Central Valley care about Armenians and we care about Artsakh,” said Borgeas.