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(ARA) – Heavy snow and rainstorms, fog and dark roadways, crowded construction zones -- law enforcement personnel regularly work under very dangerous conditions. It’s not surprising that almost every day of the year, somewhere in the United States, an officer is struck by a vehicle.

“Few law enforcement officers are ever shot at in the course of their careers; the most hazardous part of their job is being out in traffic on a daily basis, especially at night or during inclement weather” says John Golle, CEO of Safe Lites, a Minnesota-based safety equipment company.

Often motorists can’t see the officers at all, or not until it’s too late. The “old” style safety vests are only visible at night from a short distance and need a light source to be visible. Now , thanks to an innovative new product called electroluminescent (EL) lighting, there is a better way to make officers more visible and save lives.

Made by coating a layer of plastic with special inks containing phosphors, the EL lights emit a soft, even glow that is visible at great distances. Unlike conventional incandescent lights, they do not impair night vision, can be seen through smoke, fog, dust or other particles in the air, require very little power and contain no hazardous materials.

Enhanced with EL light strips, new BeaconWearSafety Vests can be seen from more than 500 feet away in all weather conditions and are not obscured by motorists’ headlights. The life-saving technology is slowly replacing the traditional “old” style reflective vests currently worn by law enforcement officers all over the country.

“It’s the same technology that is used to illuminate your cell phone, PDA or dashboard,” explains Golle. “Because EL lights do not emit rays, they do not interfere with night vision. Instrument panels on Blackhawk helicopters use this technology so that pilots wearing night vision goggles can read the controls and see the horizon at the same time.”

Unfortunately, law enforcement budgets have been slashed all over the country, preventing agencies from buying this vital piece of equipment. But in eight towns in Minnesota, the manufacturer has teamed up with a community bank to bring this innovation to their local police and fire departments. MainstreetBank of Minnesota has entered into agreements with the eight communities they serve to donate the new vests as a gift to the officers in their communities.

“It is a win-win for all of us,” says Bruce Soma, CEO of MainstreetBank. We get to better protect those that protect us everyday. Plus, having our name on the vests reminds the community we care about our officers and are willing to spend money to demonstrate our commitment.”

For more information on the BeaconWear Safety Vests, and how your company can donate them to your community, visit www.safelites.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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Courtesy of ARA Content



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