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Family of fallen officer petitions to make police vehicles more safe

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Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-07 21:14:25-05

UTAH COUNTY, Utah -- It’s been just a week since two Utah County officers were shot in the line of duty, and the family of fallen officer Sgt. Cory Wride has created a petition aimed at making squad cars bullet proof.

Sgt. Cory Wride was laid to rest Wednesday in Spanish Fork, and that night, after the funeral, the Wride family wrote up a petition aimed at getting bullet proof glass installed in the vehicles of law enforcement officers not just in Utah, but everywhere.

“To have two officers shot through the windshield in one incident in one day within an hour raises some questions,” said Johnny Revill, who is Wride’s brother-in-law.

Wride’s family said they want to make sure his death leaves behind a legacy. Wride was shot and killed in the line of duty last week while helping who he thought were stranded motorists. He was shot twice through his windshield while sitting in his patrol car.

“Within hours from finding out what had happened, Nan grabbed me and some of the family and said, ‘We've got to do something about protecting our officers better,'” Revill said.

The Wride family began talking with representatives and Utah county commissioners as well as officers, asking what can be done to protect those whose job it is to protect us.

“Given the fact that they were both shot through the windshield, that they would have at least survived an initial encounter, now we can’t say what would have happened after that, but the way they were both shot, through the windshield, would undoubtedly not have happened had they had bullet proof glass," said Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Department.

Cannon said they're looking into how to make law enforcement vehicles more safe, and bullet proof glass has certainly been discussed. But it isn't just up to the sheriff’s department.

“They can make a request to budgets, and we have to have help above that at the county commissioners level,” Cannon said. “There's a lot of things that have to be considered in budgets that are already tight.”

But Cannon said the department could never put a price tag on the life of an officer.

“If there are things that are significant enough and we can find another way to do it and still provide the other services then we will,” Cannon said.

It's something the Wride family knows the officer would have been proud of.

“If  we can bring awareness and make those officers feel safer then we want to do whatever we can do to make that happen,” Revill said. “I think he'd be looking down on this and be very happy, number one, because it’s going to protect his brothers.”

The petition on the White House’s website can be viewed by clicking here. In order to be considered, 100,000 signatures are needed by March 7, 2014.