York sheriff asks for new, stronger body armor

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — The York County sheriff is pushing for adequate body armor after his deputies were ambushed two months ago, killing one and injuring three.

"The sooner we have it, the better I'll feel," Sheriff Kevin Tolson said.

York County Sheriff Detective Mike Doty was shot and killed by Christian McCall in the woods off Campbell Road. Campbell was armed with a high-power rifle.

Tolson has put $40,000 in his budget last fall to buy 100 new armor carriers. The vendor's documents show that they're tested to stop a .30-06 rifle round.

However, the tragic incident in January is pushing the issue forward faster.

Tolson is urging council members to bypass the competitive bidding process and allow him to order the body armor as soon as possible.

"The events of January played a role, but you don't have to look far to see the events that have unfolded across the nation -- Parkland and others," "Tolsen wrote in a letter to county leaders last week. "The Sheriff's Office has already encountered the loss of one of our own, as a result of a high-caliber weapon. The timely purchase of this equipment is crucial to protecting our law enforcement."

The new armor would not have protected the officers who were shot in January because of where they were shot but Tolson said it would save lives in a different situation.

If the council approves the contract, deputies will be wearing the new body armor in a few weeks.