Body armor grant helps Kettering replace SWAT vests

Local News

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – When responding to SWAT situations, it’s important for police officers to trust their equipment won’t fail. A grant from the Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program will help the Kettering Police Department ensure their tactical vests are in working condition. 

Public Information Officer for the Kettering Police Department, Joe Ferrell said police do the best they can to take care of their tactical vests. They store vests in a cool place, dry them out when they get wet and fix any minor damage when possible. 

However, similar to electronics, technology for vests is always advancing. They get lighter, stronger and more comfortable as time goes on. Like the food in your pantry, manufacturers list expiration dates for vests. 

“When you use gear day in and day out, it could expire much quicker,” Ferrell said. 

Ferrell said the cost for tactical vest starts at about $1,000 a piece. It’s why the Kettering Police Department is looking forward to a $23,000 grant from the Body Armor Program to update SWAT vests. 

“New vests for officers if theirs have expired and also we’ll have new vests for any officers who may be possibly be coming on the team,” Ferrell said. 

The Body Armor Program started in August of 2018. A program of the Attorney General’s office, it’s funded by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. A total of $2.7 million will be dispersed this year.

“You do want to be able to do the best job that you can and that’s very easy to do when you are confident in the gear that you have,” Ferrell said.

Program is also granting thousands of dollars to neighboring departments Kettering often works with.

“You don’t have to worry about someone’s gear going down in the field because you know it’s all pretty much the same,” Ferrell said.

Whether they’re serving a warrant or responding to a swat situation, this funding is keeping police and citizens safe. 

Click here for a map and dollar amount of departments receiving the grant.

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