KOAA News Channel 5 anchor Ira Cronin interviews Leadville Chief of Police Saige Bertolas.

The Leadville Police Department has a new set of rifle-rated body armor thanks to Shield 616 and Safeway Inc. Shield 616 is a non-profit based in Colorado Springs that provides body armor for all-day rifle protection for peace officers and first responders free of charge.

Twenty-two cyclists from Shield 616’s Border-to-Border Ride, the non-profit’s annual bike ride that raises money for protective gear, stopped in Leadville on Friday afternoon during their cross-state ride from Wyoming to New Mexico.

The riders, a group of men and women from the Colorado Springs police and fire departments, Commerce City Police Department, Golden Police Department and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, raised funds throughout 2019 to help equip the LPD with rifle-rated protection.

Safeway was also instrumental in the donation. In April and May, Safeway raised over $550,000 across the region by asking customers to help support Shield 616’s work. Some of those donations helped supply the LPD’s new gear.

“This is incredible, we can’t thank everyone enough,” Leadville Chief of Police Saige Bertolas told the riders.

After the presentation of the protective gear, cyclists, Safeway employees and LPD officers gathered at Leadville Community Church for a barbeque.

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