ROMA, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Roma school district officials want every police officer assigned to their campuses to have access to a ballistic shield.

Roma Independent School District’s Board of Trustees recently approved the purchase of 10 ballistic shields for the district’s police force — “enough for each officer stationed at each Roma ISD campus,” officials announced Tuesday.

“At a total cost of more than $76,000 these shields can save lives and ensure our police department can act quickly and efficiently in case of an emergency at any campus location,” Roma ISD Superintendent Carlos M. Gonzalez Jr. said. “We want to thank our school board for their decision to approve this purchase that will empower our officers and give them access to equipment that some other districts have not yet funded.”

Gonzalez said the shields are “an essential tool, and we look forward to continuing to provide tools and technology that can enhance safety at Roma ISD.”

Ballistic shields are protection devices deployed by police to stop or deflect bullets and other projectiles fired at their carrier. They are an important tool for police departments to be prepared for any active shooter or combative situation, the district said in a public statement regarding the purchases.

The police force hopes not to need the shields, according to the district’s police chief.

“Honestly we hope we never have to use these shields, but the community can be assured that we are prepared and ready if the need ever arises,” said Roma ISD Police Chief Benjamin Gonzalez. “We are passionate about protecting the students in our community and vow to do whatever we can to keep them safe.

The shields are expected to be delivered by December, officials said.