Kremmling Police Department receives new equipment from SHIELD616

photo by Kim Cameron SHIELD616 Founder Jake Skifstad, Officer Jared Sralla, Chief Jamie Lucas, Sergeant Todd Willson, Officer Mike Minhas, bike fundraising organizer Cary Katalin.
photo by Kim Cameron SHIELD616 Founder Jake Skifstad, Officer Jared Sralla, Chief Jamie Lucas, Sergeant Todd Willson, Officer Mike Minhas, bike fundraising organizer Cary Katalin.

Officers with Kremmling Police Department (KPD) were given new active shooter and tactical gear in a SHIELD616 ceremony on September 6 at the Faith Tabernacle Church in Kremmling.

SHIELD616 is a non-profit organization formed to equip first responders and to create a group who supports their officers through prayer and encouragement. The founder of SHIELD616, Jake Skifstad, knows the importance of both. As a Colorado Springs police officer, he held specialized jobs with the Major Accident Unit, Crowd Control Riot Team, and with the SWAT team.

He was involved in the active shooter situation at New Life Church in 2007 and the Planned Parenthood active shooter in 2015.

The name for SHIELD616 was inspired by Skifstad’s reading of Ephesians 6:16, “Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

As the gear – a ballistic helmet, plate carrier vest, lightweight rifle rate armor, and a gunshot wound trauma kit – was presented to the KPD, Skifstad remarked, “I want this gear to embolden you to make that hard step to open the door. I want you to know that you have the best gear out there… We have the best of the law enforcement and you deserve the best of the best.”

“We can’t hesitate,” recalled Skifstad of his own experience arriving at the shooting at Planned Parenthood. “I remember how terrified I was opening the door.”

He praised the officers for their important job and said the officers would be supported and protected in prayer by the 16 cyclists who participated in the bike ride to raise funds for the equipment. The total gift for the KPD was valued at $6,000 ($1500 per officer) and will be updated again in five years at no charge to the department.

The inside of the vest carries the Ephesians 6:16 verse and includes extra pouches for whatever officers may need in an emergency situation. Skifstad advised of emergency situations, “You will be stressed and forget things.” He reminded them to think of extra radio batteries and whatever they might need if they were under a table for eight hours.

Officer Jared Sralla initially reached out to Shield 616 after hearing the organization mentioned on TV, “I looked them up and found out that they give away much-needed gear for law enforcement and are Christian based. I wasn’t sure how it all worked, but I know we (KPD) have a huge need for advanced gear.”

He added, “What people may not understand is that our bulletproof vests are not even rated for all pistol rounds and do almost nothing for rifle rounds. This gear will help give us the protection we need to better protect this community.”

Sergeant Todd Willson, who has been with the KPD for 24 years agreed, “When you put on any equipment, I think it prepares your mind for battle or any type of situation. Since most officers run towards gunfire I think the equipment gives them and their families a sense of security.”
He commented on the presentation, “When I received the equipment in this special way, it meant that I mattered. Gave me a few tears, I won’t lie. It was a very special moment.”

Cary Katalin commented, “We spent four days riding from Wyoming to New Mexico with the names of 10 law enforcement officers, on our backs, that gave the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. We rode because we believe in providing first responders with the gear they need when they go into an active shooter situation. We believe in SHIELD616.” Katalin first proposed the idea of a bike ride as a fundraiser for SHIELD616 and also was one who completed the 352-mile trek.

Each cyclist was encouraged to have at least $1000 in sponsorships to participate in the Shield 616 ride, and the money earned went directly to the purchase of the officer equipment.

“SHIELD616 was a gift from God. As the new chief for this department, this could not have come at a better time. When departmental budgets continue to tighten and the need for this equipment increases, small departments have a difficult time getting funding for this type of equipment. I cannot thank SHIELD616 enough for providing our officers with this life-saving equipment so that we can continue to protect the lives of the innocent and ourselves,” said Kremmling Police Chief Jamie Lucas.

For more information about Shield 616, visit