U.S. Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, along with Reps. Marion Berry, Vic Snyder, John Boozman and Mike Ross, announced Oct. 17 that $168,465 has been secured for specified Arkansas police departments, including the Izard County Sheriff's Department and Cherokee Village Police Department, to purchase 590 bulletproof vests.
This funding comes from the FY06 Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program. This is a U.S. Department of Justice initiative designed to provide essential resources to state and local law enforcement agencies.
The program supplies up to 50 percent of the cost of each vest, as well as vest carriers, attachments, inserts and the covers essential for proper maintenance.
Both Cherokee Village Police Chief Scott Goodwin and Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence said they were pleased to learn about their departments' grants. The Cherokee Village agency was awarded $805 to purchase one new vest. The Izard County Sheriff's Department was awarded $968.66 to purchase three vests.
"Our local law enforcement officers risk their lives to keep our communities safe," said Lincoln. "I applaud these Arkansas police departments and the U.S. Department of Justice for working together to provide this necessary equipment so that our officers will be better protected while in the line of duty."
"Over and over again, bulletproof vests have meant the difference between life and death for law enforcement officials," Pryor said. "I'm pleased this federal program will enhance the safety and well-being of our communities in which these officers serve."
Since 1999 the program has helped to purchase over 590,000 vests for municipalities around the nation, according to the U.S. Justice Department.