(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Public Safety will begin collecting hundreds of pieces of personal protective gear for donation to members of the Ukraine civilian territorial defense.
In March, Governor DeWine requested an inventory from local and state law enforcement agencies on the amount of surplus or expired, but still functional, personal protective gear that could potentially be donated to Ukraine. More than two dozen agencies responded to the query, offering approximately 75 ballistic and riot helmets and 840 pieces of body armor, including vests and plates.
“As Russia continues its unprovoked attack on Ukraine, citizens are stepping up to defend their country with little more protection than the clothes on their backs, and I am grateful to the Ohio law enforcement agencies that didn’t hesitate to offer their unneeded gear,” said Governor DeWine. “This is Ohio’s opportunity to provide civilian humanitarian aid to help the innocent Ukrainians who are voluntarily putting their lives at risk on the front lines. If any other law enforcement agencies have unneeded protective gear, there is still time to take part in this important statewide donation effort.”
Delivery of Ohio’s donations to Ukraine will be coordinated by the Fund to Aid Ukraine, a non-profit organization based in Parma that is affiliated with the United Ukrainian Organizations of Ohio, a member of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.
“We express our gratitude to Governor DeWine, the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and the law enforcement community,” said Marta Liscynesky Kelleher, President of United Ukrainian Organizations of Ohio. “This quick response is meaningful and essential to the people of Ukraine fighting each day to defend their country, their freedom, and democratic principles against the brutal and unprovoked invasion by Russia. We appreciate Governor DeWine’s leadership in this effort, which can serve as a model for other states to take on similar initiatives.”
Law enforcement agencies that responded to the March inventory request will be contacted by the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) with instructions on where to locally drop off their equipment. Law enforcement agencies that did not respond to the initial inventory request, but would like to donate unneeded personal protective gear, should contact their nearest OSHP post for more information as soon as possible.