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Port Huron Police Department gets prosecutor’s grant to help buy 58 new ballistic helmets

Photo courtesy of On Duty Gear, LLC A ballistic helmet similar to the ones purchased by PHPD.

By Jim Bloch

The Port Huron Police Department will purchase 58 ballistic helmets for its officers for $36,384.

The Port Huron City Council unanimously approved the purchase from sole bidder On Duty Gear, LLC of Clinton Township at its regular meeting on April 25. Six days earlier, the firm sent a memo to the city certifying that it was “the exclusive sole distributor of the full line of Busch Protective Helmets in the state of Michigan.”

The overall purchase price was offset by an $8,000 grant from the St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office’s forfeiture fund. City Manager James Freed thanked Prosecutor Mike Wendling for his help.

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The remaining amount, $28,384, will be paid from the city’s general fund.

The purchase price includes two accessories: 58 light impact visors at $135 apiece or $7,830 and 58 four-inch harness extensions at $13 a piece or $754.

“Our standard features include an advanced padding system, wheel-dial system, and unique rail system,” said On Duty Gear on its website. “These components ensure that comfort, practicality, and capability are provided, giving the user an added degree of confidence. The unique rail system and its Speed Connect System (SCS) gives the user, even more, tactical and modular protective capability. Our modular protective visors (Impact, Fragmentation, 9mm/44Mag) can be added/removed from the helmet in seconds without ever having to take off the helmet – always being protected.”

The helmets will replace those purchased 16 years ago.

“This is part of our ongoing effort to replace outdated and old equipment,” said Freed, as heard on the recording of the meeting posted on the city’s website. “I think the chief told me that he still has his original helmet from when he started here 48 years ago.”

Freed was joking about Chief Joe Platzer’s start date and the council laughed.

The helmets “will be utilized by police officers for ballistic head protection during high-risk warrant services, active shooter, or high-risk felony operations,” said Freed in a memo to the council.

Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at 

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