Ohio cop makes glowing safety vests to keep officers visible

Officer Don Campbell says he was inspired by a tragic night that left a fellow cop dead

By Suzie Ziegler 

CINCINNATI — Officer Dale Woods was wearing a reflective vest when he was fatally struck one rainy night in 2019 while assisting at a crash scene. The Colerain Police Department determined that Woods, despite his vest, wasn’t visible against the glare of police lights and vehicles, FOX 19 reported. The driver wasn’t charged.  

When Officer Don Campbell heard about this tragedy, it gave him an idea. Campbell first tested many products to try to make himself more visible, but when he couldn’t find one that worked well, he decided to make his own, the report said. The result is an illuminated vest that glows neon green. 

Campbell says it was a long process of trial and error. 

“I eventually put the LED strips underneath the vest so when you’re at the scene all you see is a big green globe,” he told FOX 19. “People call it a firefly or fireball. It really stands out at the scene because everything is red light, blue lights.” 

Lt. Chris Phillips of the Colerain Police Department says he’s grateful for Campbell’s efforts.  

“It’s comforting to know something was developed out of the tragedy, something good came from it,” Phillips told FOX 19.

NEXT: Study: Reflective markings may reduce drivers’ ability to see first responders at night

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