CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia will be aiding Ukraine in its war with Russia by sending unused protection gear.

Gov. Jim Justice has directed the West Virginia National Guard and the Department of Homeland Security to help Ukraine by asking West Virginia law enforcement to donate surplus body armor. 

The WVNG and DHS will immediately begin collecting unused or recently expired ballistic vests and coordinating with the West Virginia Law Enforcement Coalition, which includes chiefs of police, county sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, troopers, narcotics officers, and the Fraternal Order of Police.

County sheriffs are accepting vests at their offices for pickup by the West Virginia State Police and the state Division of Emergency Management. After collection in West Virginia, donated body armor will be sent to a U.S. collection point, and from there, the armor will be sent to Ukraine.

“In West Virginia, we stand up for what’s right, which is why we stand united with Ukraine in every way,” Gov. Justice said. “Our incredible law enforcement officers throughout West Virginia are prepared to answer the call – they are well-stocked to be able to continue safely serving our people and communities throughout West Virginia, while providing this much-needed assistance to the Ukrainians who are bravely defending their home country against Russia. We hope and pray that this initiative will make a difference and that justice will win the day.”

Law enforcement from a growing number of states have joined in this effort, according to the Governor. Other states are also collecting surplus protective equipment on their own for shipment to Ukraine.