Ohio to offer safety grants for bulletproof vests for police


Attorney General Mike DeWine is teaming up with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to provide grants of up to $40,000 to police agencies to purchase protective vests for their officers.

The new grant program comes as DeWine faces criticism from BCI agents, who complain their vests are past the manufacturer’s warranty dates.

The union representing sworn officers in the Bureau of Investigation and Identification put its grievance, filed in June, on hold while vests are on order, said DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney. The agency is still waiting to get delivery date for the new vests.

RELATED: K-9s get bulletproof vests

At BCI, 95 agents, two evidence transport officers and two investigators are among the 115 sworn officers in the Attorney General’s office who are assigned protective vests.

The Associated Press reported in June that more than 50 agents were wearing bulletproof vests that had expired, despite pleas to management that the be replaced.

Agents who don’t have up to date vests have been fitted and new ones have been ordered, Tierney said. Each vest costs $950.

Internal BCI emails among agents over the past several months show concern about the expired vests possibly putting officers in harm’s way.

RELATED: Copy saved by bulletproof vest: ‘I’m just glad to be here today’

DeWine, who is the GOP nominee for governor, put out a press release Tuesday announcing the new program with the BWC to offer grants of up to $40,000 to purchase body armor for on-duty officers. The program would require a local match of 25 percent.

“This new program will help our first responders get the latest body armor, helping to protect them while they do the important work of keeping their communities safe,” DeWine said in a written statement.

Ohio FOP President Gary Wolske said in a written statement that the union’s “members are dismayed at Attorney General DeWine’s politicization of our officeers’ safety. DeWine Allowed more than 50 of his own agents to wear expired Kevlar vests – some of them for more than seven years. Now that this has become a political problem for his campaign, he’s trying to take action for something that has been a safety issue for years.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Boston officer taken to hospital after being shot
Boston officer taken to hospital after being shot

Boston police responded after an officer was shot in the South End on Sunday, police say. Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said the officer was shot in the calf. Police confirmed the officer was taken to the hospital, but his injuries weren't believed to be life-threatening. >> Read more trending news  A suspect was taken into custody...
Student lies under flag to make sure it doesn’t touch the ground
Student lies under flag to make sure it doesn’t touch the ground

Amanda Reallan was waiting in the parking lot to pick up her children from school when she saw an act of patriotism she had to capture a photo of. >> Read more trending news  Three fifth-grade boys were struggling as they removed and worked to fold the American flag when one of them lay under it to make sure it did not touch the ground....
Male reportedly stabbed in the neck in Springfield
Male reportedly stabbed in the neck in Springfield

Police responded to a second reported stabbing in Springfield Sunday. Emergency crews were dispatched on a report of a male with a neck wound from a stabbing in the 1700 block of Mound Street around 7:50 p.m. The two reported stabbings occurred within an hour of each other. We are on our way to the scene to learn more.
Female reportedly stabbed in Springfield
Female reportedly stabbed in Springfield

Emergency crews responded to Rice Street in Springfield Sunday around 6:55 p.m., according to Springfield dispatch. Initial reports indicated a female was stabbed in the 200 block of Rice Street, but we are working to confirm these reports. No further information was provided. We are working to learn more and will update this page as information becomes...
Police warn parents after finding drugs designed to look like candy
Police warn parents after finding drugs designed to look like candy

Police are warning parents after confiscating drugs stamped to look like candy in the shape of animated characters. >> Read more trending news  Hapeville police recovered two guns, one of which was stolen, cash and drugs in a raid Friday.  “The pills and lollipops are designed to look like candy,” officials said in...
More Stories