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Police pursue money for new body armor

Cary Ashby • May 25, 2019 at 10:00 PM

The Norwalk Police Department has been authorized to request a state grant for new body armor.

City council passed a resolution Tuesday for the city to request a grant through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. 

Chief Mike Conney, during the May 14 work session, said the vests have a usable life of five years and $36,000 has been budgeted to replace the body armor for the special response team (SRT). He also told council the new vests will be for the SRT plus two or three road patrol officers, explaining that the officers’ armor expires in different years, depending on when they were hired. 

Formed in 1993, the SRT currently has eight members. North Central EMS also provides two medics. Sgt. Tom Cook is the commander of the tactical squad.

Norwalk Finance Director Michelle Reeder has said the grant request is for about $36,400, with the city’s 25-percent match being slightly more than $9,000. 

The price “is keeping with the times and the market,” Conney said.

The chief was asked how the police department funded body armor in previous years.

“Body armor is generally warranted for five years. In the past we would budget for the body armor when its expiration date was coming. We became aware of grant money and are trying to take advantage of this,” he said.

“The new body armor will protect the wearer against the same threat level, as far as projectiles are concerned. Advances in technology have made it lighter and the cut of the vest is more athletic. It is also a modular system, so you can add or take away depending on what the particular mission calls for.”

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