Legislation introduced to make law enforcement safer - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Legislation introduced to make law enforcement safer

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More officers. More pay. More vests. 

Those are some of the ideas being presented to lawmakers. 

At a ceremony held Monday, those affected by the August 28th, 2012 shooting that left two state troopers wounded and a deputy and tow truck driver wounded, lawmakers talked about their proposals to keep law enforcement safer. 

"We have to protect those who get up every morning to protect us," said Sen. Bill Laird (D-Fayette), who introduced a bill to require sheriff's departments to issue bullet proof vests. 

"There were a lot of officers there that night," said Roane County Deputy John Westfall. "I was just the unlucky guy that got shot."

Westfall responded to the call and was shot three times by Luke Baber, the 22 year old who went on a shooting rampage after being pulled over by state police officers Eric Workman and Marshall Bailey. Both of those troopers were killed by Baber. 

Westfall credits his bulletproof vest with saving his life. 

"Where I worked for the city, I had the vest available," said Westfall.

The bulletproof vest bill, SB360, would make vests issued by the county. 20 state legislators have put their name on the bill. 

Many of them were at the ceremony, where Westfall was presented with a Purple Heart for his service. 

Westfall has more surgeries scheduled, but hopes to return to work. 

"As soon as I'm released, I'll be back to work," said Westfall.

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