Protective gear for officers and canines will help shield law enforcement from danger
Frankfort, KY: Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence announced that the city of Louisville will receive more than 200 body armor vests to better protect law enforcement officers. The vests will be distributed through the Kentucky Body Armor Program. This is the first time Louisville has received funding through this program.
"It is essential that we do all we can to offer the best protection for our sworn officers, who put their lives on the line every day to make our communities safer," said Lieutenant Governor Pence. "Through this program, police officers have access to another method of defense: body armor for themselves and for their canines."
The Kentucky Body Armor Program, established in 1998, 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 Kentucky State Police receives these weapons and transfers them to the state's Division of Surplus Property, which in turn sells them at public auction to federally licensed firearms dealers. 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.
Along with Metro Louisville, which will receive 200 officer vests, the University of Louisville Police Department will also receive seven officer vests and one canine vest, for a total of 208 body armor vests. Several other communities, which will be named at a later date, will receive body armor vests as well. The current state price contract amount for an officer vest is $331.00. The average cost of a canine vest is approximately $650.00.
"We want to ensure that our police officers have access to bulletproof vests when they are out on the streets, protecting families from harm," added Lieutenant Governor Pence. "The gear is a wise investment in safety."
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 in 1998, the program has approved 2,356 officer vests and 11 service animal vests for a total amount of $918,988.
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