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Rancho Santa Fe

The Rancho Santa Fe Assn. voted unanimously Thursday to buy $325 bulletproof vests for its seven-member police force.

The protective armor, according to Chief Matt Wellhouser of the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol, is a necessary precaution for his officers, who make 24-hour patrols and often respond to calls throughout the wealthy North County enclave.

Wellhouser told the association board of a study showing that 60% of police officers who are killed or wounded are shot with their own guns. Rancho Santa Fe Patrol officers are armed.

The six-member board agreed with the rationale.

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“The matter wasn’t even discussed among the members,” said association manager Walt Ekard. “It was a piece of equipment the patrol needed, and the board went along with it.”


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