COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost awarded more than $345,000 in grants to dozens of local police departments around the state to purchase body armor vests for their officers.
Nearly $120,000 has been earmarked for agencies in the six counties that comprise The Lima News coverage area.
Since its inception in fiscal year 2018, the Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program – administered by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office – has awarded grants exceeding $3.9 million to 426 local law enforcement agencies statewide to purchase body armor vests. Grants awarded in August through November 2019 reached 63 agencies and totaled $345,837.
“Every department wants to have a vest for every officer, but the vests are not cheap and have to be replaced after a certain number of years,” Yost said in a prepared statement. “Helping to protect these officers is a meaningful way to thank them as they put themselves at risk for our sake each day.”
Seven Allen County agencies will share in a $50,418 stipend from the state, to be divided as follows: Allen County Sheriff’s Office ($10,733); Bluffton Police Department ($9,808); Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District ($4,064); Marion Township Police Department ($745); Perry Township Police Department ($9,988); Shawnee Township Police Department ($8,947) and Spencerville Police Department ($7,134).
In Auglaize County, six departments will divide $14,128. The St. Marys Police Department will get $1,170; the Wapakoneta PD gets $3,567; Cridersville PD will receive $1,984; while Waynesfield and New Bremen police departments get $1,175 and $674, respectively.
In Putnam County, the Ottawa Police Department will receive $9,960 in funding, while the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is earmarked to receive $4,201. The Fort Jennings PD will receive $1,755.
The Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office stands to get $13,748. The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office will be awarded $9,374, while police departments in Rockford and Fort Recovery stand to gain $2,126 and $3,532, respectively.
In Hardin County, the Ada PD will receive $3,889, and the Forest PD is targeted to receive $4,800.
Funding for the program is provided by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation as part of its Safety Intervention Grant Program. With a local match of 25 percent, agencies can receive up to $40,000 from the program.