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Von Miller, teammates, Broncos announce $200,000 donation to protect first responders, improve law enforcement relations


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Von Miller, his teammates and the Broncos have found a way to help protect those who serve and protect.

Miller — along with nearly 20 players and the organization — announced Thursday they have committed $200,000 to a program that will help keep police officers and firefighters safe when they respond to active-shooter and mass-shooting situations. The initiative will also include programming to improve law-enforcement relations in the community.

The donation will benefit SHIELD616, a Colorado Springs-based nonprofit organization, which will provide more than 125 advanced protective kits to first responders. Each SHIELD616 kit includes a ballistic vest, ballistic helmet and a wound trauma kit that upgrades standard equipment to protect against automatic weapons and assault rifles.

"When I heard there's been more than 300 mass shootings in the last year alone, I felt like we needed to do something for those who protect us," Miller said. "I hope that we can all help bridge the gap and work to improve relationships with law enforcement in our communities."

Miller's lead gift and presentation to the Broncos inspired nearly 20 players to make donations to the cause. President and CEO Joe Ellis, President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway and Head Coach Vance Joseph also made personal contributions to the cause.

Miller, his teammates and the Broncos will also maintain relationships with the selected first responders through volunteer opportunities, programming with area kids, roundtable discussions and other initiatives.

Each SHIELD616 donor will receive contact information for the first responder with whom he or she is paired.

SHIELD616 Founder and President Jake Skifstad said he's humbled to see Miller and the Broncos using their platform to continue to build positive relationships between the community and first responders.

"It takes the unification of an entire community to not only better protect our first responders with physical armor, but to break down barriers between first responders and the citizens they serve," Skifstad said. "It's priceless to see complete strangers invest in the safety of first responders, changing their lives and the lives of their families. We are humbled and proud to see that Von Miller, his teammates and the Broncos are utilizing their God-given leadership gifts and influence to not only better protect our protectors but to also help build positive community relations."

Skifstad, a former police officer, founded SHIELD616 in 2015 to help protect first responders and citizens in active-shooter situations.

Now, Miller, his teammates and the Broncos will help advance SHIELD616's mission.

The Broncos will present police officers and firefighters from various local communities with their new SHIELD616 packs after practice on Dec. 20 at UCHealth Training Center.

For more information on SHIELD616, please click here.

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