Company that made bullet-proof vest will honor Orleans deputy

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers  – Deputy James DeFilipps (right) was recognized during an Orleans County Legislature meeting on April 22, along with deputies Brian Larkin, left, Kevin Colonna, and other law enforcement officers in the county. DeFilipps was wounded in a March 21 shoot-out in Clarendon.

When Deputy James DeFilipps was shot on March 21, a bullet-proof vest likely saved his life. It was the 1,912 “save” for the Safariland Group, a company that makes bullet-proof vests, armor and other gear.

Safariland representatives will be in Albion at the Public Safety Building on May 19 for a ceremony to recognize DeFilipps. The company will present him with a plaque and will induct him into the “Safariland Group Saves Club.” The company will also give a plaque to the Sheriff’s Department in the ceremony at 3 p.m.

Members of the “Safariland Group Saves Club” often become advocates for the law enforcement community, sharing the importance of wearing body armor, as well as providing other safety tips derived from their own experiences, the company said.

DeFilipps was shot twice in the vest during a shootout on March 21 in Clarendon with a James Ellis, 44, of Wyoming County.

Ellis crashed his vehicle into a telephone pole on Route 31A in Clarendon at about 3 a.m. on March 21. Police discovered the wreck in a neighbor’s front yard while looking for Ellis. When DeFilipps left his patrol car to search for Ellis, the suspect opened fire from a wooded area near the vehicle, Sheriff Scott Hess said during a news conference later that day.

Deputy DeFilipps was shot twice in the abdomen, and then managed to fatally shoot Ellis.