Hank Turgeon is elected by his fellow New Bedford Police officers to protect their interests. He knows the dangers of the job. He has a new way to protect them.

Because of the work of Officer Turgeon and veteran Army Green Beret Robert Scali, the men and women of the New Bedford Police Department will have the latest defensive equipment and the training to deploy that equipment to save lives.

Robert Scali is the creator of Vector Shields for law enforcement. He combined his experience as Special Forces combat medic on the battlefield and his appreciation for the men and women of law enforcement into a life-saving tool. This American warrior developed a tactical shield that deflects the bullets and blades of criminals. It also gives the police officer using the shield the ability to use less than lethal force in a manner that was previously impossible.

Hank Turgeon discovered Vector Shields at a Massachusetts Police Association convention a few years ago. He and members of the New Bedford Police SWAT team discussed the shields with Robert Scali at the convention and knew they needed this technology for their department. They also knew they needed this technology for the good of the people they have sworn an oath to serve and protect.

The Vector Shield gives an officer the additional seconds they need to determine if a teenager is holding a firearm or a fake gun. The shield gives the officer an additional level of safety to de-escalate a situation with an armed suspect. The shield protects not just the police officer, but also the public.

Hank, acting in his capacity as the leader of his union, was determined to get the shields for his department. He started a fundraising campaign to purchase the shields and made his case to me personally as a member of the media. His determination paid off when the City decided to fund the shields from the police budget.

The New Bedford Police will start training with their Vector Shields this week.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.