News and Tribune

September 23, 2010

Protect and Serve: Federal grants help secure new body armor for Clark County Sheriff’s Department

By MATT THACKER
Matt.Thacker@newsandtribune.com

CLARK COUNTY — The Clark County Sheriff’s Department has received new state-of-the-art body armor thanks mostly to two federal grants.

Indiana law requires police body armor for the torso be replaced according to the period recommended by the manufacturer. The sheriff’s department equipment would have had to be replaced in about a year or two, but Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden said the federal money became available so they seized the opportunity.

Rodden said he was aware of the county’s financial situation and began seeking grant money to fund the replacement.

The body armor, manufactured by Galls, meets the latest standards from the National Institute of Justice. Maj. Chuck Adams described it as top-of -the-line equipment.

The sheriff’s department secured two federal grants to pay for about 80 percent of the vests. The Bureau of Justice Assistance Federal Vest Partnership Grant matches each local dollar.

The remaining 20 percent came from local discretionary funds. The vests cost about $15,000 and Rodden said enough were purchased to outfit the entire department.

The last time the vests were replaced was about four years ago.

Rodden said officers are not required to wear the vests, but they are encouraged to and most officers choose to wear them.

“Technology is improving all the time, so you want to have the best available,” Rodden said.