Derry PD garners grant to buy bullet proof vests
DERRY — Police officers in town will be better protected thanks to a U.S. Department of Justice grant that will help fund the purchase of 38 replacement bullet proof vests.
Town councilors agreed last week to begin the process for accepting $8,075 in funding for the vests.
The grant is available through the Fiscal Year 2014 Bullet Proof Partnership Program.
The program was enacted in 1998 by the Bureau of Justice Administration to allocate certain funding for police departments throughout the nation, said Chief Ed Garone during a presentation to councilors at the regular Tuesday night meeting.
The funding assists communities with populations of less than 100,000 people and offers up to 50 percent of the replacement cost of vests, Garone said. Departments submit a voucher and are reimbursed for 50 percent of the cost of vests under the program.
Vests have a life expectancy of five years and, according to the manufacturer, must be replaced to assure their ballistic capabilities.
Garone said more than 3,000 officers have survived potentially fatal or debilitating wounds during the course of the national program.
“Needless to say, it’s an excellent program,” Garone said.
After the presentation, Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores asked Garone if the vests could be passed down from officer to officer or only suited for one officer.
Garone explained that although each vest is fitted and designed for one officer, it is possible to pass them down.
“It’s possible, but not very likely,” he said.
Councilors then voted 7-0 for the town to begin the process of accepting the grant.