KSP trooper’s father, local legislators support bulletproof windshields for troopers

Joe Ponder, Trooper Cameron Ponder’s father, made a plea today to start a discussion to introduce bulletproof windshields for state troopers.

"A bulletproof windshield would have saved my son’s life," he said.

Cameron Ponder was shot to death Sept.13 after a chase on Interstate 24. House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Representative Will Coursey support Joe Ponder’s request. The legislators want to hear from law enforcement leaders and the men and women who serve before they draw up any legislation. We spoke with a majority of our local legislators, who all say on the surface they’re in favor of the move.

The type of bulletproof windshield legislators are proposing would be a laminate that would go over an existing windshield. Speaker Greg Stumbo said it would cost an estimated $5,000 per vehicle. Local law enforcement says anything to protect their men and women is a good idea, but every change requires consideration.

With any loss of a law enforcement officer, McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden reminds his men and women what really matters. "The majority of law abiding citizens support you and support what you’re doing," he says.

Hayden knows it’s a dangerous profession, and discussing how to save more service men and women — if it is through bullet proof windshields — is a step that needs to be taken. Hayden says he applauds Ponder’s father and Stumbo for bringing the discussion up.

The McCracken County Sheriff’s Office windshields are just like any other car on the street.

State Rep. Will Coursey and Ponder served the same area. Coursey says the local tie gives them that much more drive for new legislation. He says they will try to do everything they can to pass significant legislation that protects their troopers, but Coursey knows legislation won’t happen without work, without questions, and won’t bring Trooper Cameron Ponder back.

"This general assembly will stand prepared to do what they can to assist our state police in this endeavor," Coursey says.

Coursey says there may be a bill in the future, but they first must field and listen to discussion from different law enforcement leaders and those in a specialized committee.

Stumbo says he would also support efforts for similar programs to local law enforcement agencies. 

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