Leonard and Stella White said it’s only natural that they would donate funds to help keep Perris cops safe.
Policing runs in their family.
The couple dug into their own pocketbook to provide the funds to purchase heavy-duty bullet-resistant vests capable of stopping rifle slugs. Along with Carlos Vasquez, a representative of Clayton Homes, the Whites were honored at the Perris City Council meeting on July 11. Together, the Whites and Clayton Homes donated about $4,400 to purchase 11 rifle resistant body armor.
“We feel blessed that we were able to donate,” said Stella White, a licensed vocational nurse. “We have police officers in our family and are concerned about their safety and the safety of the officers working in Perris. It’s in our hearts to support police.”
Cops in the White family include officers in Los Angeles and West Covina, working in patrol, narcotics and helicopter-aviation units. The Whites said they watched reports of the 2016 slayings of two Palm Springs police officers shot with an assault rifle and were moved to do what they could to protect Perris police.
“I feel we are doing the right thing,” said Leonard White, a collision technician specializing in automotive repairs. “”Everybody deserves to go home to their families at the end of the day. We have children and want to show them that it is important to support the people who support us.”
Perris Police Chief Brandon Ford praised the donations, saying the vests will be used when officers face life-and-death situations like active shooters and hostage situations where victims are in imminent danger. Ford said the new vests, which weigh only six pounds, “will be deployed under the most extreme circumstances.”
“We are very grateful to receive them,” Ford said.
City Council members expressed their appreciation.
Mayor Michael Vargas, a retired police officer, said the City is “grateful and thankful” for the donations.
“Your kindness speaks highly,” Vargas said. “Your donation shows that you are looking out for the community, especially our law enforcement officers who protect us on a daily basis.”
City Councilwoman Tonya Burke said she appreciated Leonard and Stella White and Clayton Homes for “answering the call of duty.”
“A lot of people talk the talk but you walk the walk,” Burke said.
City Councilwoman Rita Rogers called police officers “people who risk their lives for our safety.”
“While we run away from bullets, police run toward bullets,” Rogers said. “I applaud your generosity to the Perris Police Department.”