Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Presents Funding to Richmond for Local Law Enforcement

Press Release Date:  Friday, July 14, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Jason Keller

Dan Bayens

Funds will be used for communications equipment, body armor

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher dropped by the Richmond Police Department today to present local officials with a $100,000 homeland security check to purchase mobile data computers for local law enforcement.

“Ensuring the public’s safety is one of my administration’s top priorities,” said Governor Fletcher. “A well-equipped law enforcement agency is vital to the safety of Richmond and all of Madison County. That is why it is essential that these individuals have the equipment they need to communicate effectively while they serve and protect their local community.”

“Having worked for 14½ years with the city of Richmond and its police department, I’m very happy to see the Governor bring this important funding to our community,” said Sen. Ed Worley (D-Richmond).

Over the past two years, the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security has invested more than $70 million in homeland security projects; over half of which has been used in support of enhanced communications capabilities for Kentucky’s first responders. The use of mobile data computers in the roadside environment is the fastest emerging technology tool to assist law enforcement.

“I am excited to see this investment in the safety of our law enforcement,” said Representative Harry Moberly (D-Richmond).  “We must continue to provide first responders with the equipment necessary to carry out their duties.”

Body Armor Funding

Governor Fletcher also presented the Richmond Police Department with a check for $6,265 in body armor funding.  The grant will be used to acquire 15 officer vests and two service animal vests.

“This grant is vital for the men and women who protect this community,” said Representative Lonnie Napier (R-Lancaster).  “I am pleased to see this funding allocated to the Richmond Police Department.”

The Kentucky Body Armor Program allows law enforcement agencies to acquire body armor for their sworn officers.  Funding for the program is derived from the sale of firearms that have been confiscated by state and local law enforcement agencies.  The program is a collaborative effort by the Governor's Office for Local Development (GOLD), the Kentucky State Police and the Division of Surplus Equipment. The current state price contract amount for an officer vest is $331.00 while the average cost of a canine vest is approximately $650.00.

Applications for the Kentucky Body Armor Program are available through the Governor's Office for Local Development and are accepted on a continual basis.  Projects are selected for funding three or four times a year based on need and the availability of funds.  Since its establishment, the program has approved 3,914 officer vests and 31 service animal vests.  This represents $1,463,703 that has been sent to local law enforcement agencies.  Additionally over $211,000 has been provided to the Kentucky State Police for new equipment.  The Kentucky Body Armor Program is administered by the Governor’s Office for Local Development.