Thornton church donates tactical gear to 31 Adams County deputies

THORNTON, Colo. -- It's been nearly nine months since Adams County Sheriff Deputy Heath Gumm was killed in the line of service, but for many in the Thornton community, it feels like yesterday.

"Nobody really thinks that day is going to come," says Crossroads Church Senior Pastor Kim Skattum. "It just cuts us at the core."

In the weeks and months following the tragedy, Skattum struggled to find a way to help.

"It's hard to know sometimes, what we can do tangibly," he says.

But in August, a friend in law enforcement approached him asking if he knew what Shield 616 was.

The non-profit provides rifle-resistant gear to law enforcement groups across Colorado.

Skattum and other church leaders decided to donate 10 kits, at a price of $15,000.

"I just threw it out there and said if you want to add to the 10 we have, you have the opportunity to do that," he says. "We had families come forward and say we'll buy one, families that I thought really? You're going to be able to do that?"

By the end of the month, the congregation had raised enough money for 31 tactical kits.

Saturday night, 31 deputies stood in front of the church to receive them.

"It was absolutely heartwarming," says Deputy Kyle Kuhn. "I think I speak for the whole Sheriff's Office when I say that we are all extremely grateful for it. Any support we get from the community is amazing, it's a great feeling. We don't always get it, and when you do, it's very, very nice."

So far this year, Shield 616 has donated 124 kits to Adams County Deputies, bringing the total number needed to less than 20.

"We want to try and get them the best protection we can," says President Jake Skifstad.

Go here for more information on Shield616.

A fundraiser for Deputy Heath Gumm's family happened Sunday morning.

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